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27 years down the can

Trenary Outhouse Classic set for Saturday

A first place team in last year’s Trenary Outhouse Classic races down the 400-foot track. The annual outhouse races will take place Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Trenary Outhouse Classic)

TRENARY — While you might think of an outhouse as a stationary object in the woods, the people of Trenary are known for making them mobile. For those who would like to witness this firsthand, the 27th Trenary Outhouse Classic will take place Saturday.

At 2 p.m., teams of two will take off down Trenary’s Main Street with homemade outhouses on skis and compete for the best time down the 400-foot track.

The idea to race outhouses began with founder Toivo Aho who witnessed a similar race in the state of Washington. He thought outhouse races were the perfect way to gather the community and bring some excitement into the dead of winter, the Trenary Outhouse Classic website states.

“Toivo was determined to make this winter event one of the largest in the U.P.,” the website reads. “Everywhere he went, he talked about the races. He was always looking for new ideas and how to make the race a larger, better known event. The first few years the race started out on the sidewalk and eventually had to be moved to the street because of all the racers and spectators.”

Now each year 25 to 30 teams build outhouses out of cardboard, wood, plastic and other materials to compete in the annual race.

Outhouses can be made from just about anything except metal and they must be outfitted with a toilet seat and a roll of toilet paper, explained Trenary Outhouse Classic President Mimi Cady. In past years she’s seen outhouses shaped like wrecking balls, bulldozers and more.

Racers compete in seven categories with cash prizes awarded to those with the best times. The first three categories are for racers ages 5 to 17 while categories four through seven are for racers 18 and up.

Vendors will be present during the event which officially begins at 11 a.m. The Trenary Tavern and the Trenary Home Bakery will be serving food and goodies as well as the Mathias Township Fire Department, which will be selling hot dogs and brats.

Plus, you can wear your best fur hat for the fur hat competition and a chance at winning a cash prize.

Cady encouraged the public to attend the outhouse classic not only because it is a unique and fun event but “because all the money raised is going toward a good cause,” she said. “It all goes back into our community and to help strengthen and beautify the best we can and support our other small nonprofits in the area. We also have a scholarship that we give out at Superior Central every year and we’re working toward the goal of repaving our town basketball court.”

Racers can register online at trenaryouthouseclassic .com or the day of from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration is $20 for kids and $40 for adults ages 18 and up. Admission to the race is $5 or purchase your admission pin in advance for $3 at participating locations: the Village Pub in Chatham; New Moon Bar in Eben; Swallow Inn in Gladstone; the Buckhorn, Barge Inn and Foggy’s in Munising; Herb’s Bar in Rock; the Silver Dollar, Trenary Mini Mart; and Trenary Tavern in Trenary.

Food and drink carry ins will not be allowed at this year’s event. Drink purchases can be made inside The Silver Dollar and Trenary Tavern as well as outside in their beer tents.

Outhouse building rules and more information on the annual event can be found at trenaryouthouseclassic.com.

Trinity Carey can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.

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