Outhouse races

Participants give it their all in a previous year’s outhouse races during Irish Days.

It is not too late for people to register their teams for the annual Outback Outdoor Dash, which will take place on Saturday, March 13, at approximately 12:30 p.m. after the Irish Days parade

The event is being sponsored by the Lake County Examiner, and line ups will occur around 12:30 p.m. Saturday, March 13. Registration is $10 per team. Registration forms can be picked up at the Lake County Examiner’s office or the Lake County Chamber of Commerce. The deadline to register a team is 12 p.m. on Saturday, March 13, and the forms have to be turned into the organizers.

In the early days of Irish Days the group that founded the annual celebration during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend, was considering ways to add events during the multiple-day festival. They wanted something exciting and fun, and created a human-powered drag race with a unique rustic western spin — the outhouse race.

The event features teams of runners and one driver racing a wheeled outhouse down one block of north E Street in a round-robin tournament to determine the champion. First place gets $100, second place gets $75, and the best in show — chosen by the staff of the Lake County Examiner — gets $50. Co-chair for the races are LuAnn Anderson, along with Lake County Examiner General Mgr. Tillie Flynn.

Over the years people have tried different building materials, designs and techniques in a light-hearted effort to outrace opposing outhouses down E Street. Teams have used different wheel set ups, styles and techniques, ranging from aluminum wheels and frames to wooden ones. Ultimately, the strength of the team’s pushers determines a winner, rather than the overall style of the outhouse. It is important to have a braking system as well, as the teams need to stop not long after they pass the finish line.

A minimum of four and a maximum of five people can be on a team, and one person has to be sitting in the outhouse during the race. The event has resulted in many crashes and hilarious moments over its tenure, and for the sake of property and safety it is highly recommended that cars be parked elsewhere during the race.

People participating in the outhouse races are encouraged to also show off their creations during the Irish Day parade, which will begin at 11 a.m. winding through downtown Lakeview. The outhouses will be lined up in front of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce on north E Street for inspection at around noon.

Teams will start at the intersection of North First and E streets. They will then race each other two at a time one block to north E and Second streets, with the crosswalk paint at the intersection utilized as a finish line. Heats will continue with two teams against each other until a winner emerges. The races will happen no matter the weather.

The Eagles Lodge and Pardue Construction are long-time competitors in the race.

The office of the Lake County Examiner is at 739 N. 2nd St., Lakeview. Registration forms are due no later than noon on Saturday, March 13, to the organizers.

For more information contact the Examiner at 541-947-3378.

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