Baltimore’s 13th annual Kinetic Sculpture Race took place this weekend. The race is the American Visionary Art Museum‘s “wacky display of art on wheels and in water.”

The race took its participants on a 15-mile course through the city, including a dip into the outer harbor, and an obstacle course that includes sand and mud.

I had seen Fifi before on display inside the museum; she’s the giant pink poodle powered by cyclists. I was determined to see her in action, and the Kinetic Sculpture Race is her big annual event.

The spirit among the participants and spectators was giddy and infectious. The moving sculptures made it through the city with a minimal fuss from officials (only a small section of road was closed to normal traffic).

The human-powered roving sculptures energized the city, delighting passers-by and bringing to life the AVAM’s mission of supporting visionary art. Even the awards ceremony was fun, with trophies that were themselves pieces of art.

See more photos in my Kinetic Sculpture Race 2011 set (and more via the kinetic13 tag), and at the forum.