Outhouse races help small community boost economy

A lot can be said about the annual Outhouse Classic races that take place in front of a crowd of thousands every year in Trenary.

Most could be hilariously popular punch-lines of off-color jokes.

However, what the small community in the southwest corner of Alger County says, is that the races contribute a great deal financially to its survival. Even the event’s founder, Toivo Aho, saw the promise of boosting the local economy with the running of the outhouses down Trenary Avenue.

Small businesses like Trenary Home Bakery and the Trenary Tavern surely cash in when thousands of spectators flock to the “two-exit” town just off U.S. 41 to see well-basted runners push toilet houses down the snow track.

The community takes the proceeds from the Outhouse races and puts it to good use. First and foremost the Outhouse Classic Committee raised enough money to buy Trenary’s closed Veterans and Senior Center, which otherwise could still be sitting vacant. The town is able to bolster its fireworks show for the Fourth of July and the committee donates money to Superior Central School in nearby Eben.

The committee also donates money to help charities that are lacking. We applaud all these donations.

The fact that Aho took his vision of a fun-themed race and turned it into an annual event that draws a huge crowd and that it also turns a profit, is commendable.

Not only do Trenaryites get a break from the winter doldrums, but the town also gets the little monetary boost that it needs. And the spectators happily watch the races in all their glory.

Who wouldn’t want to see a full-sized outhouse get pushed by the colorful participants of the annual event? Sounds like fun to us.