Every year on the last Saturday of February a fun little spectacle goes on in the tiny town of Trenary, Michigan. As the town of 551 people quadruples in size for one day, the outhouse jokes and drinks start rolling around 10am and only get worse (better?) as the day goes on.
Inappropriate jokes are welcomed & encouraged!
The Trenary Outhouse Races have run for twenty one years now, ever since a man by the name of Toivo Aho brought the idea to town. He had seen something similar in Washington and wanted to bring it to Trenary to help the local community do something fun in winter to beat the blues.
Not only does this race help beat the winter blues, it raises thousands of dollars in scholarships for local high school students and other city projects such as July 4th fireworks and new sidewalks.
Each ‘outhouse’ is made of cardboard, wood, or plastic and is supposed to fit a certain dimension. Once finished, they are mounted on skis and pushed down a 500 foot track by two runners.
While some outhouses are made for speed, others are made for looks. And then there are some just made for the amusement of the audience. And of course you can’t forget the costumes. You can see anything from grown men wearing red long-john jumpsuits to grown men wearing barely anything at all. It’s all part of the experience!
While the races start at 2pm and only last for approximately an hour, there are vendors and bars that are open from 10am to late night to satisfy your needs.
I was fairly warned of the shenanigans that I was going to encounter at this event, however nothing can really prepare one for the sight of 2,500+ people chugging beers and making (insert blank here) jokes.
It really is something that everyone should experience once in their lifetime. There are a wide range of people who attend: some true Yoopers, some college students, and then some tourists that want to see if this race really existed.
There were also a great number of families in attendance, as well as a youth category for the races. All in all, I had a great time just absorbing the atmosphere of small town entertainment.
Bottom Line: The Trenary Outhouse Races are something that you should experience. It may be a little redneck, but it really is a lot of fun.
Other Things to Note: Some businesses put together party busses to go to the Races. Although I don’t know who promoted busses this year, I do know that Double Trouble DJ out of Marquette has had one in the past. If you plan on drinking at the Races, this is something to look into. If not, please dedicate a DD as I would hate to lose someone on the drive home from a great day.
How to get there? The races are downtown Trenary, which really isn’t too hard to find! If you are coming from Marquette will take US41 towards Escanaba for a little over 30 miles, and then turn left on M-67. You will see plenty of signs for Trenary and the amount of traffic and people walking around will let you know you have arrived in the right place.