Homemade Outhouse Racing in the U.P.? Yeah, It’s a Thing
If you're in southwest Michigan, you may have seen the annual Festivus that takes place in Battle Creek where people build their own sleds using nothing but cardboard and tape. If you missed it, see some of the pictures below:
However, thanks to Tiktok, we now know that the U.P. has their own annual race...with homemade outhouses. Take a look (be warned, some of the words painted on the outhouses may not be safe for work):
The Trenary Outhouse Classic in Trenary, Michigan has been a yearly tradition for the past two decades. Inspired by a similar tradition in Washington, the founder of the Trenary Outhouse Classic, Toivo Aho, proposed this idea as a way to break up the very long winter experienced in the upper peninsula. That's according to the Trenary Outhouse Classic's website.
Now, families gather in the last week of February to either participate or watch these homemade outhouses race.
How Does it Work?
Outhouses must be homemade to match that year's theme using materials like plastic, cardboard, wood, tape, and more. The outhouses are then placed on skis and pushed by two runners.
The cost is a very affordable $3 to register before the event and $5 the day of. All money raised goes back to support Trenary's community. Read more here.
While those of us in the lower peninsula may just be hearing about this for the first time, the Trenary Outhouse Classic has become quite a tradition in the U.P. with t-shirts and pins to celebrate the occasion:
When I came across the Tiktok (posted above) I made the comment that people in the U.P. seem to have a lot more fun in winter. The user who posted the video, Heather G., responded with,
You got to... wintertime is so long UP here. We would go crazy if there wasn't stuff to do outside!
If you were unable to attend, you can see a brief glimpse of what to expect next year thanks to this video from 2020:
Michigan continues to be a pleasant surprise.