The press release from the da Vinci Days Festival says they’re gaining STEAM (get it, STEAM) in their fourth year of reinvention, and checking out the rest of that presser, we have to agree, check out the line up,….
Home-made electric race cars, an illuminated night parade and a cycling challenge for kids will highlight the annual da Vinci Days festival July 19-21 at the Benton County Fairgrounds. The longstanding Corvallis summer tradition includes a keynote speaker, entertainment, food, local beer and wine, interactive displays, and of course, the Graand Kinetic Challenge (GKC).
This is the fourth year of the reinvented festival, after budget challenges forced the eclectic Corvallis STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) celebration to temporarily suspend operations in 2013. The main festival moved from its sprawling downtown locations to its current home at the fairgrounds in 2016. According to Eric Neilsen, president of the da Vinci Days Board of Directors, “it has morphed into a right-sized, free-to-all festival.”
Some of the most popular aspects of the original festival are being combined with new elements. An estimated crowd of 4,000 people attended da Vinci Days last summer.
On July 20, the Kids Kinetic Challenge will offer youth the chance to put their bikes or other wheeled creations through a course similar to the one used by adults in the Graand Kinetic Challenge. Kids must be at least six years old and can decorate their bikes at the fairgrounds before the event.
A variety of local restaurants and food trucks — including Lani Moku Grill, Francescos, Gourmet Hometown Heroes, Lil Porkies, Kell’s Kitchen, Delicias Valley Café, and Kalamata Bistro — will offer their fare throughout the day.
On Saturday and Sunday, the Graand Kinetic Challenge will feature human-powered vehicles navigating a course through mud, sand and water. Vehicles will gain extra points for being illuminated and parading through the fairgrounds on Saturday night.
This year’s schedule includes:
- Friday, July 19, at 7 p.m. – Keynote talk: “River Running in a Time of Climate Change.” Jeff Behan, Oregon State University Institute for Natural Resources and veteran river guide, will show photos from his nearly 40 years of expeditions down the Colorado River. The LaSells Stewart Center, 220 SW 26th Street.
- Saturday, July 20, 9 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. “Making Waves” Summer Festival and Graand Kinetic Challenge, Benton County Fairgrounds, 110 SW 53rd Street.
Saturday’s entertainment lineup includes Re’ala Fire, a roaming stilt walker and Katie Pippel, a fire dancer, as well as:
9 a.m. Tech check and judging for Graand Kinetic Challenge
10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Interactive exhibits
10 a.m. Bike decorating for Kids Kinetic Challenge
11 a.m. Graand Kinetic Pagentry and Road Race
1 p.m. Sakumuna (African, World Music)
2:45 p.m. yOya (L.A. infused singer-songwriter)
4:30 p.m. Brutal Bridges (rock)
6-7 p.m. Electrathon Road Race
6:15 p.m. Lisa Landucci Band (country rock, Americana)
8 p.m. DTW (funk, dance band)
9:15 p.m. Lumenata Light Parade led by DTW and the GKC
- Sunday, July 21, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Graand Kinetic Challenge continues with the mud bog at Crystal Lake Sports Complex, 100 SE Fischer Lane, and float down the Willamette River to boat ramp in downtown Corvallis.
Admission to all events is free. Parking at the Benton County Fairgrounds is $5, but a free shuttle will operate from downtown Corvallis to the fairgrounds. The da Vinci Days Festival is community supported. Donations to da Vinci Days are encouraged and accepted at all locations.