Saturday, February 25, 2012

Urban Iditarod

Met up this afternoon at the Great Harvest Bread Co and had a lovely time sketching loaves and chatting with Vicky and Alanna.
When the time was ripe, we migrated to the Hawthorne Bridge to catch the Urban Iditarod, a spoof sled-dog race where 100 teams of people dress in absurd costumes and push decorated shopping carts through the city, pouring into downtown. It was fun to see quite a few groups of people huddling around the bridge and the bike path, trying to stay out of the drizzle, eagerly anticipating a cascade of craziness.
It would have been a difficult task to draw the race as it came pouring by--I've never seen a disco hot-tub on wheels moving so fast, nor so many people dressed like Mario Brothers running past (I think there were something like 20 Marios among the roughly 500 participants). We just laughed our heads off, and gave high-fives to the folks dressed like TSA agents, square dancers, and "The 1%."

But I did follow the race for a short distance, where they stopped for a gigantic dance party outside of an Irish Pub. So, even though these sketches are pretty runny with drizzle and can't catch the full degree of chaos and magic of the event, it's a tiny glimpse of some of the costumed creativity.

My favorite element of all, hands-down, was the shopping cart that had a pulpit built on top of it, with a the funky dancing Pope giving his groovy blessings to all those present. I had no idea that the Pope was such a good dancer!
The Urban Iditarod--keepin' Portland weird since (at least) 2005.


  1. Katura, your sketches capture some of the highlights of the day (complete with raindrops) and I'm sure they'll bring back a chuckle when you page through them later. Isn't that great about making sketches? I really enjoyed your pictures and your story, and sketching with you yesterday.

  2. I agree, Vicky, the raindrops really do add to the feel of it! It was a delightful and silly adventure, very glad that we got to hang out together and cheer them all on.