The Picture Of The Day: Ann Arbor Shopping Cart Races
When looking up one synonym for "wacky" it turns out all of the potential answers provide the perfect description of the annual Ann Arbor shopping cart race that happens every August – absurd, crazed, crazy, daft, demented, deranged, eccentric, erratic, foolish, hare-brained, insane, irrational, loony, lunatic, mad, nuts, nutty, odd, preposterous, screwy, silly, unpredictable, wild and zany. Just add fun and photogenic and you have a perfect description.
A half hour before the race, the street in front of the Fleetwood Diner becomes a pit row of sorts where fans can admire the contestants' rides. The carts run the gamut from bare bones to the festively pimped (see photo above). An impromptu parade led by fans and a horn section leads the carts down to the corner of Main and Ann Streets for the start of the race.
At midnight the carts take off north on Main Street, heading downhill to the train tracks by the Huron River. While there's some good-natured fierce competition between some riders, the main point of the race is the sheer fun and absurdity of it all. Kind of a punk FestiFools, if you will.