Saturday, July 6, 2013
On Saturday May 4th, (Kentucky Derby Day), The Broomstick Pony Derby was held on the street in front of Urban ReThink (625 E Central Blvd, Orlando, Fl). The Broomstick Pony Derby is a season-long celebration of Orlando’s play-spirited, civic-minded, try-curious, tri-athlete, road racing and audacious-arts-appreciating community. The Derby route was over the bricked blocks of E. Central Blvd in Downtown Orlando, roughly between Summerlin and Osceola Ave. These roads were closed off beginning at 2:00pm on Derby Day.
During the Broomstick Pony Derby, folks of all ages create and race handmade broomstick ponies, zebras, ostriches, you name it. Where do the ponies come from? They were made during our spring Broomstick Pony Workshops led by local artists, including Ibex Puppetry and Clay Curiosities. The festivities celebrate community and creativity and will raise funds, friends, and awareness for enhancing Urban ReThink’s operations and programming.
When I got there, the DJ was getting set up. There was a threat of showers and when I felt a few drops, I took cover under the ReThink awning. Necole Pynn assured me that there was no way it could rain on Pony Derby day. People's broomstick ponies were all lined up along the fence. The rain never came and by the time I finished sketching the DJ the street was crowded. The pony parade involved all the racers gathering in a large circle and passing the pony's around so everyone got to see the handiwork. A couple was dressed as salt and pepper shakers. One horse rode a broomstick human. There were Unicorns and a sea horse. Some kids were in costume with cowboy hats, frilly dressed and a Bo Peep outfit. In the relay, the Hot Llama Mamas and the amazing kids from Misty Forest were hard to beat. Contestants were told not to run, but in the heat of the race the fine line between a fast skip and a run was blurred. The youngest contestants, trailing the pack often got the most boisterous cheers as they approached the finish line.