By KayLynn Roberts-McMurray
The Ely Times
Some float. Some don’t.
Some flip over and take everyone inside with them.
They are bath tub boats, built to survive and compete on the still waters of Cave Lake, and for the organizers and participants of the 9th annual “Bathtub Races,” everyone’s looking for some extra competition.
The event, which started in 2009 has grown to be recognized by FOX News as the No. 1 Wackiest Race in America. Meg Rhoades of the White Pine Tourism and Recreation Board described it as an “only in Ely” kind of event.
For locals, it’s a fun weekend get together to watch people paddle, cruise, sail and sometimes sink.
This years festiviities will begin on Friday at 6 p.m. in the Shopko parking lot. Wicked Creams will be selling tasty treats for children and special treats for the adults too. The Ruth Volunteer Fire Department will be cooking up burgers, dogs and chorizos.
The bathtub races will begin at Cave Lake on Saturday at 3 p.m.
“You won’t find something like this anywhere other than Ely” Rhoades said. “It’s a great way to spend a day with family and friends”.
The annual racing of bathtub consists of people bringing their homemade decorated boats to the lake to race around buoys.
Different categories divide the races between men and women, as well as motorized and nonmotorized bathtubs.
Competitors pay a $25 entry fee for each race. Park admission is $10.
Kayaks and canoes will also have separate races.
The top three fastest boats in each category will receive cash prizes, from $250 for first place, $125 for second and $75 for third place.
Those looking for a race on a smaller scale can also buy a rubber duck from the Tour and Recreation Board for $5.
The board will sell 200 ducks and then dump them into the middle of the lake. You can purchase one at the boat show, or at the bathtub races. The first duck to reach the shore will earn its owner half of the total prize money.
The event is not considered to be a big moneymaker for the board, but continues to live on based on how much fun the community has.
For more information on the Great Bathtub Races, contact the White Pine Tour and Recreation Board at 775-289-4325.