What better way to support the arts than by running an obstacle course, eating bizarre food, solving puzzles, and going on scavenger hunts? The Community Arts Center’s fourth annual Dantastic Race, which puts a distinct Danville spin on TV’s “The Amazing Race,” will do just that, leading four-person teams all over Boyle County as they follow clues, complete challenges, and ultimately try to cross the finish line first.
Community Arts Center Executive Director Mary Beth Touchstone says the race was designed specifically with 20, 30 and 40-somethings in mind. Many of the programs at the Community Arts Center cater to youth and seniors, but this is targeted to the adults in between.
It’s a good target. Since 2009, the race has created a following in Danville, with locals competing year after year in a race that keeps people guessing.
Past race participant and winner Chris Herron explains, “It’s not all about physicality. You have to have brains, too.”
He especially enjoys the camaraderie that develops on a Dantastic team, where everyone contributes his/her unique skills to the team’s overall success. The race encourages creativity and resourcefulness from start to finish, and participants have extended this sentiment to aspects such as team car decorations, costumes and team names. A few themes from past years include “BluBonic Plague,” “Hard Boyled,” “The Dantastic 4,” “Finger Puppet Mafia” and “Hopefully Not Last.”
While the specific challenges remain top-secret until race day, participants can look to previous years to get a feel for what will be thrown at them Aug. 18. Past challenges include parking-lot Sudoku, doughnut-eating contests, re-enactments of the famous jailbreak at Constitution Square, zombie target-practice, mannequin hair-styling contests, and 52 pick-up on Perryville Battlefield.
CAC Programming Director and Dantastic mastermind Brandon Long says this is what makes Dantastic so much fun.
“At the end of the day, people have done all kinds of things they will probably never do again,” he explains.
The team that can manage to outfox, outrun and (safely) outdrive the other 24 will win $500.
While many people think of the race as a fun community event, it is also one of the Community Arts Center’s bigger fundraisers. Groups that fundraise on behalf of the CAC can win certain perks: teams that raise $500 are granted a Challenge Bypass, which allows teams to skip a particularly difficult or disgusting challenge. Last year’s winning team utilized this trick, so it is in a team’s interest to try to reach the $500 benchmark, if not a higher one.
The team that raises the most money receives a special and helpful “gift of gratitude” on race day that will help it navigate the course in some way. These fundraising techniques cleverly find a way to raise money while also adding an element of competitiveness and strategy to the race.
IF YOU GO
The Dantastic Race
4 p.m. Aug. 18, 4 p.m.; check in starts at 3 p.m.
Race begins at the Community Arts Center