Rather than a race this year the 2024 Interlakes Outhouse Races will be a Show and Shine.
On Thursday, Feb. 8, the Fishing Highway Tourist Association, which organizes the event, made the determination there is not enough snow to run the races safely. However, Irene Meili the association’s president, said they didn’t want to cancel the event entirely and are instead inviting the community to participate in a Show and Shine tailgate party on Feb. 18 at the Iron Horse Pub instead.
“We think it’s important to keep the event going because it’s part of the winter celebrations. Right now it’s a little hard to celebrate in the snow so we’re adapting our Outhouse Races this year,” Meili said. “For all of those outhouses that have been built and can’t be raced now, we’d still like to see them and give out prizes to the most beautiful ones.”
Meili said while there is still snow at the Iron Horse, if they packed it down it would turn to ice quickly. The chances of someone falling and injuring themselves would be high, so they can’t guarantee the safety of the racers.
The show and shine will still kick off at 10 a.m. with the Iron Horse opening for breakfast as usual. The Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School grad class will also be running a concession/bake sale on-site and there will be a bonfire for people to roast marshmallows over.
“You can buy your food and eat on your tailgate like you would at a summer event.”
Their plans for the show and shine are to arrange the outhouses out on the baseball field for spectators to view. Meili said they also will be giving out prizes for the best costumes and she encourages those who attend to dress up.
“Dress up in your costumes, whatever you think is best and we’ll have a prize for the best outhouse, best costume as a group and definitely something for the kids,” Meili remarked.
Even though the event will be different this year, Meili still encourages the community to come out and support it. With so many events being canceled this winter due to the weather she said she and Karen Owens, owner of the Iron Horse, both believe it’s important to do what they can.
“We can’t change nature but we can adapt and work around it,” Meili said.