12th Annual Dignowity Hill Pushcart Derby Returns to Lockwood Park

click to enlarge 12th Annual Dignowity Hill Pushcart Derby Returns to Lockwood Park
Courtesy of Dignowity Hill Pushcart Derby
Since its inception in 2005, the Dignowity Hill Pushcart Derby has won over scores of fans with its unique combination of community and creativity.

Founded by beloved local artist Cruz Ortiz and now under the direction of educator and community organizer Rina Moreno Belardi, the “collaborative public art intervention” welcomes youth and adult three-person teams (one driver, two pushers) to compete in a series of timed trials that determine two-team heats.

Although not required, teams are encouraged to build their DIY pushcarts from recycled materials, which gives the unmotorized vehicles unpredictable flair. “Couches, recliners, bicycle parts and wagon wheels” are just a few of the things Belardi told us she’s seen put into play over the years. But her favorite aspect, it seems, is that nearly everybody wins something — even the slowpokes who wind up facing off in the “granny races.” The top winners, like last year’s amusingly outfitted team Free Parking, take home handcrafted trophies and prizes provided by Dignowity Hill businesses.

Sponsored by Lone Star Beer, the 12th annual event includes music courtesy of DJ Rigoberto Luna, chances to snap up the derby’s first-ever Fiesta medal, and food-truck fare from Rockin Pescado and Papa’s Burgers. While teams are encouraged to register online in advance ($30-$40 at eventbrite.com), Belardi says there’s almost always room for late arrivals on race day if they show up on time for check-in and their carts pass safety inspection. Visit the Facebook page for details.

$30-$40 per team, free for spectators, Sun March 25, 2-6pm, Lockwood Park, 800 N. Olive St., (210) 643-9178, facebook.com/theofficialdignowityhillpushcartderby.
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