The streets were filled with hundreds of fans, music and laughter Saturday as a parade of potties raced through the streets of Virginia City during the World Championship Outhouse Races.
"We have 16 entries this year," said Rich Crombie, promoter and head of NV Shows LLC. "It's so complicated that we have double eliminations, and this year we had the Mustang Ranch as our
Crombie said he didn't know how many years the races have been going on, but he's pretty sure for at least 15-20 years. And he wasn't sure how it all got started, but he's there have been many tales told.
The outhouse races probably date back to a moment in Virginia City's history, according to Crombie, when the townspeople took their outhouses to the streets and marched to City Hall to protest new ordinances that banned outdoor toilets.
"Since then," he said, "the event has become an annual tradition to relive history, and honor the golden age of outdoor plumbing."
Names of entries were as varied as outhouses they pushed and pedaled down C Street: The Urinator, Flapper Crapper, PP Hut, Port a Party, Party Pooper, Comstock Load and Alice in Pottyland, to name a few.
Fans of the annual race came from all over the country, as well as Northern Nevada.
Alyshia Abbey, 16, of Fernley, said she came to the event with her parents and her friend McKenzie Murray, also 16 and from Fernley, to support one of the competitors, the Commando Comode.
"Everyone's here together, and you just don't see this every day," she said.
Jerry Shapansky drove all the way from Aberdeen, Wash., to see his son-in-law race in the Port a Potty. He was there with about 20 family members.
"We were here last year, that's where we got the idea to enter this. This weekend is classic. There aren't that many people who'd believe me if I told them about this," Shapansky said.
John Ekstrom was in town from Michigan for the race as part of a class reunion for Ironwood High School's Class of 1954.
"It's a sunny day and there are a heck of a lot of people having a heck of a lot of fun. Everyone in Michigan has an outhouse, so we're enjoying this," he said.
Sixty-three-year-old Penny Morris from Silver City, was in town for the race with her group's entry, The Flapper Crapper.
Dressed in a purple-fringed flapper dress, draped in red boa feathers and wearing pearls, black fish-net stockings and red tennis shoes, Morris said she also was there for a good time.
"With all the garbage going on these days, you need some fun in your life to put all the bad parts behind you," Morris said.
With four years of competition to their credit, the group was proud to say that they had been named "Prettiest" every year.
Randy Elder of Sun Valley was there with his group's entry, Comstock Load.
"We had a couple of friends do this last year, and they kept talking smack, so we had to show 'em up," he said.
The event continues starting at noon today with final eliminations, and race results around 3 p.m., Crombie said.