To be honest, they didn't quite measure up to expectations. I would have sworn that when we saw news reports in previous years, there was a whole lot more creativity in outhouse construction. I was not particularly impressed with the structures sliding down the track this year. I have a vague memory that when they first started doing this, the outhouses actually looked like outhouses, more or less. You know, there was the basic structure with an actual bench or a toilet seat in it and they were relatively sturdily constructed.
Not anymore. It's been distilled down to not exactly essence of outhouse -- that would probably be just a bench or a seat -- but more like a hint of an outhouse. People construct structures that are about the appropriate square footage for a traditional privy, but that's basically where the resemblance ends. The outhouses are flimsy boxes on skis that have just enough of a framework to tack posterboard to that bears the name of whatever business or team is sponsoring them. There were a couple minor exceptions, like the Dapper Crapper (it had a mustache) but overall? Definitely a disappointment.
The S.O. and I did a little muttering (as did other members of the crowd) about the fact the races did not start on time. Start time was advertised as 2 p.m.; it was actually more like 2:30 before the first outhouse came down the line. In retrospect, I realize this was genius on the part of the organizers. There weren't actually many outhouses in the race so once it was over, most of the crowd would disperse pretty quickly. Delay the start a bit, and it gave people enough time to go get a refill on the beer or decide they really wanted a bratwurst after all. The Outhouse Races are, after all, a major fundraiser for the local fire department and the community of Trenary, a town that's barely two blocks long and if not quite in the middle of nowhere is close to it.