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Recognizing “Gateway Races” 

Any good evil tobacco seller knows the way to ensure faithful cigarette consumers is to “hook ‘em young.” Kids, adorable and impressionable, are more susceptible to colorful, deceptive marketing and are less likely to resist temptations scrutinizing adults have learned to ignore.

That’s why we at the Journal were alarmed when we discovered that the Humboldt’s Kinetic season has been lengthened to include -- get this -- a race for kids! Not cool, Queens!

In what we’re assuming is an attempt to raise up a next generation of art nerd Olympic torch carriers, the Rutabaga Queen’s have announced the addition of the Kinetic Classic Kid Powered Art Race to take place on Mother’s Day Sunday, May 13. They’ve put out a call to kids 12-and-a-half-years and younger to compete in a handful of events taking place on Main Street in Ferndale. If you’re one of those questionable souls who may be interested in being the proud parent of a kinetic kadet, here’s where you may want to direct your kid’s energy (based on their age):

*The noon whistle will signal the start of the Rutababy Buggy Bouncer Kick-Off Parade for kids 9 months to pre-school aged. Essentially, decorate that stroller (or baby bump) in kinetic fashion and stroll down the road. (Sounds more like a parent parade, but OK.)

*Kindergartners through third graders will compete in the Rutabaga Rally. Kids are asked to decorate themselves and their bikes, skateboards, scooters, etc. and run through an obstacle course.

*“Big kids” -- fourth, fifth and sixth graders -- have the opportunity to compete in the soap box racer-ish Junior Kinetic Push Kart Dash. Since Main Street lacks downhill-ness, each team consists of one pilot and one pusher. According to the official rules of the race, vehicles should “look cool.”

Speaking of official rules: the rundown of racer requirements for the above events can be found by directing your browsy thingy to kineticclassic.org. But fair warning: should you subject your child to kinetic kool-aid, you may never get them back.

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Andrew Goff

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