On the morning of Saturday, April 22, 2023 I grabbed my camera and headed to the City of West Columbia for the fourth annual Kinetic Derby Day. Having had the pleasure of attending and photographing this event every year, I was excited for what lay ahead.
The City of West Columbia conceived of Kinetic Derby Day as a delightful and imaginative means of fostering community spirit and generating interest in the West Columbia River District—an area that encompasses restaurants, merchants, and parks along the Congaree River, just across from downtown Columbia. The event features soap box and kinetic sculpture racing with obstacles down Meeting Street. There is a Kids Zone and STEAM festival along State Street throughout the day. Each year, there has been a carnival-style feature such as a Ferris Wheel or the giant slide present this year. Food trucks are parked between the racing area and the STEAM festival. The Meeting Street Artisan Market and surrounding restaurants and shops are also open for business.
The crowds attending Kinetic Derby Day have steadily grown each year. People lined both sides of Meeting Street to watch the racers roll down the hill before coming to a stop in a huge pile of corn kernels. It makes for a photogenic event with the interesting and often quirky vehicles racing each other downhill. I chose a few of my favorite images from the day to share and tried to show some different aspects of the festival.