Trenary Outhouse Classic: Where potty humor meets competitive racing
Written by Selena Potila
Trenary, a tiny town nestled in southwestern Alger County, has gained fame for its delicious crunchy toast and its quirky tradition: the Trenary Outhouse Classic. Spectators from far and wide flock to this event, eager to witness two-member teams racing their mobile potties down a slippery track or participating in the rip-roaring festivities. Awards are bestowed upon the fastest times in various age groups: “Squirts” (ages 5 to 11), “Da Dingleberries” (ages 12 to 17), “Stinkers” (ages 18 to 35), and “Old Farts” (ages 50 and up). Additional accolades recognize the most humorous entry, best workmanship, best presentation, and the team that has traveled the farthest to compete.
This year, the festive event was sponsored by Upper Hand Brewery, which not only supported the races but also participated. Jake Gervais, an employee of Upper Hand, enthusiastically shared, “I think its amazing. Honestly, there is not a more Yooper Upper Hand event then the Outhouse Races in my opinion. I mean, we’re outside, drinkin’ beer, pushing outhouses down the street. What’s better!”
Constructing the teams’ mobile commodes requires strategic planning. Each team must navigate an entire snow-covered track with either record-breaking speed or impressive style. Gervais explained, “We were told that we needed to build a very cool outhouse—one that would stand out. We weren’t going for speed; we were aiming for the WOW factor. A bunch of us got together and came up with ideas. We brainstormed about design, quality, and budget, considering all those aspects. In the end, we created something kinda fun: we sacrificed a barrel for the throne, used cedar shake siding, and our woodworker brewer crafted the U.P. (Upper Peninsula) sign. Plaid adorned the background, and it truly stood out. It’s just fun.”
As hundreds of spectators lined the streets, racers sprinted toward the finish line. Unfortunately, the “Call of the Wild,” pushed by comedian Jessimae Peluso of Los Angeles, CA, and Scott Bishop of Richmond, MI, encountered a flattened potty. Despite the mishap, the Trenary Outhouse Classic remains a beloved and uniquely Upper Peninsula tradition. Hundreds of spectators lined the streets as racers sprinted toward the finish line. Unfortunately for the team behind the “Call of the Wild,” pushed by comedian Jessimae Peluso of Los Angeles, CA, and Scott Bishop of Richmond, MI, their mobile potty met an untimely demise—a flattened structure that fell apart right from the start. The bell tolled for that ill-fated toilet bowl.
Families and friends also gathered to witness the sliding pooper scoot. Attendee Shawn Paul shared how his family’s tradition began: “We came here about 10 years ago—me, my mom, my aunt, and my uncle. I spread the word to the rest of my family, they all got the balls to come check it out.” Spectator Russel Ralph chimed in, “I enjoyed it. It’s my first year. I thought they were going down hills.” Upon learning that Trenary lacks an abundance of hills, onlooker Chris Chainy quipped, “It’s pretty much one road in Trenary.”
Indeed, that one road is brimming with fun! If you missed the races this year, fear not—there’s always next time. The Trenary Outhouse Classic awaits at the end of February. Come visit this town that embraces a touch of potty humor.