Please remain seated as race teams gear up for outhouse competition

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With entries like "The Potty Poopers," "Flapper Crapper" and "The Urinator," the annual World Championship Outhouse Races promise to entertain when the competition kicks off Oct. 1-2.

"We've got a lot of returning folks and some new entries this year," said Rich Crombie, promoter and head of NV Shows LLC.

New entries will be Alice KLCA FM Radio 96.5 with its outhouse, "Alice in Pottyland," and the Mustang Ranch brothel with its entry, "Condom Capers," Crombie said.

The outhouse races mark 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."

The competition is open to anyone 18 and older who wants to put a three-person team together. There must be one person to ride on the throne and two to push their outhouse along the 100 feet of pavement to the finish line.

Entry fee is $50, and proceeds help fund the event and promote the living history that thrives on the Comstock, Crombie said. The event grows bigger each year.

"I got a call from a lady representing some wild and crazy seniors from Ironwood High School's Class of 1954 (from Michigan's Upper Peninsula) who will be in Reno for their reunion and wanted to participate," he said. "They'll have a group of 25 people, and their mascot is the Red Devils. I'm seeing if they can sponsor the entry from the Red Dog Saloon (in Virginia City), and their entry number will be 54."

Alice Radio's account executive Pat Cantwell said the station participated last year and is excited to join in the festivities again this year. "We have an ongoing partnership with Virginia City and the Virginia City Merchants Association, so we do all we can to promote their events," Cantwell said. "It's a great event - one of those quirky, odd events - and we're asking our listeners to be on our team by going to our website to register."

The event is free to the public. The pits open at 10 a.m., the parade is at noon Oct. 1 on C Street, with the races are scheduled from 1-5 p.m. Second rounds of the competition and the final race for the championship will be held starting at noon Oct. 2.

On Saturday, visitors will get a chance to vote for the prettiest outhouse, the most unusual and the people's choice award, among others.

Virginia City merchants also will make shopping more enticing for visitors by offering a Boardwalk Sale during the event.

For information, go to or call 847-7500 or 846-1130.


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