Photos: Kensington Derby and Arts Festival returns gloriously muddy

The obstacle race and food party is about as Philly as it gets.

The Kensington Kitty flies through Philadelphia Brewing Company's 'Peacock Passage' obstacle during the race at Saturday's Kensington Derby and Arts Festival

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Umbrellas, confetti and small orange hand towels were in equal measure on Saturday as the Kensington Derby & Arts Festival returned after a two-year pandemic break.

Presented by the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, the street fair has been around since 2007. Its most unique feature — originally called the Kinetic Sculpture Derby — is an obstacle course with participants on human-powered structures, where the only design requirement is that the vehicles can maintain a speed of at least 3 mph.

When the New Kensington Community Development Corporation kicked off the intentionally wacky event 15 years ago, organizers hoped it would draw attention to local artists, neighborhood businesses, and the area’s commercial aisles. Judging by this weekend’s turnout, it’s working as intended.

Rain couldn't stop the enthusiastic crowd cheering on the racers
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Despite continued rain throughout the day, hundreds of people descended on the Trenton Avenue area between Norris and Frankford to stroll past 100 vendors selling food, drink, handmade goods and art.

Festival-goers also cheered on racers, who navigated around beer barrels, bubbles and glittery clouds before reaching the final: an iconic mud puddle that entrants had to wade through for a chance to win one of 10 categories.

As one contestant put it, Hall & Oates was playing, people were yelling and there was mud everywhere: about as Philly as it gets.

Scroll down for photos from the event captioned “Return of the Mud.”

Judges, including Councilor Mark Squilla, are not letting the drizzle deter their deliberations
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This duo called 'The Battle Cats' started the race in style with some crazy thong in Frankford between Dauphin and York
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Someone showed up with a panda head and spent a lot of time dancing in these stands
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Racers make their way through clouds of glitter and feathers in Philadelphia Brewing Company's 'Peacock Passage'
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Participants are waiting for the announcement of the winners
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'Ghost from Kensington's Past' makes its way to the mud puddle
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Rain couldn't stop the very enthusiastic crowd from cheering on the racers
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This contestant took derby literally and wore their prettiest hat
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A young spectator speaks to reporters during the mud puddle portion of the derby
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A fantastically dressed motorcyclist in a homemade flamingo costume heads for the mud pool
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Kensington Kitty screams as they make their way through the derby mud puddle
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The 'Queen of Hearts' team came prepared and floated through the mud puddle.  They later won the Media's Choice jury category.
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Miz Dot makes his way through the mud puddle and eventually wins the 'Best Use of Materials' category without saying a single word, but wins everyone over with lots of interpretive dancing (and a little mud-throwing)
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This racer's vehicle, made in part from PVC pipe, fell apart before they could get out of the mud puddle
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The flamingo motorcyclist moves through the final to the side of the pit during his turn
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Mud flew everywhere as racers made their way through the final - the pit
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Two members of the 'Bird Gang' team successfully navigate the mud puddle on Dauphin Street between Martha and Trenton
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A contestant sports muddy shoes after making his way through the mud pit
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A little rain didn't stop the 'Ghost from Kensington's Past' from taking home the award for best costume at the Kensington Derby
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The Philadelphia Brewing Company team dismantles the obstacle called the 'Peacock Passage'
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Lots of confetti and glitter covered the pavement after the derby racers passed by
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Wet streets didn't detract from the fun during the festival portion of the event
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