invention of indoor plumbing, outhouses have mostly become a thing of the past.
Yet many frontier cities in the United States still hold an affection for the
wooden sanctuary, paying it a special kind of homage each year.
held in towns and cities across the western US, let teams compete in their own
portable potties, complete with four sides, a roof, a toilet seat and even a
roll of toilet paper. Teams, which can range from three to five people, must
pull or push their homemade outhouse down a city street and must also have at
least one rider on the seat inside.
Many races are
held to stave off cabin fever in the dead of winter, such as the longest
running race in Concully,
Washington in January, and the competition held at the Fur
Rondy Festival in Anchorage, Alaska, in March. Because of snow, both races
require that the outhouses must be mounted on skis.
But the ski town
of Breckenridge, Colorado, opts to have their outhouse races as part of the Kingdom Days history festival,
held this year held on 15 June. Outhouses are mounted on wheels and racers push
the portable potties to the finish line to compete for the “Gold Throne”,
“Silver Moon”, and “Bronze Bucket” trophies, along with accompanying cash
The town of
Virginia City, Nevada, is slated to hold the World
Championship Outhouse Races on 5 and 6 October. Last year’s competition
proved to be an upset, with newcomer and motorcycle-themed “The Pot Rod”
beating out previous winners “The Classic Crapper” and “The Urinator”. The bright purple, 1920s-themed “The Flapper Crapper”
took home the title of most unique.
biggest prizes are usually given to the groups with the fastest times, the
festivals also usually offer at least one prize for the most creative outhouse.
Teams rise to the challenge by decorating their commodes to look like
everything from a jail to a toxic waste dumping facility. Almost as creative as
the outhouses themselves, team names take toilet humour to the next level, with
entries including “Constipation Proclamation”, “Deadliest Dump”, and “Commando
Even those that
do not take home the throne can rest easy knowing there is no better place than
an outhouse to wipe the slate clean for next year.