Famous Sturgis saloon prepares for a “crappy” time at upcoming fundraiser event
STURGIS, S.D.– For almost 10 years, The Knuckle Saloon in Sturgis is preparing to take part in the annual Nemo 500 Outhouse Races. The annual races are some of the multiple events taking place to help raise money for the Naja Shrine Kids Transportation Fund. Outhouse racer Builder for the saloon Mick McAuley explains more about their participation and why they come back to participate.
What is the Nemo 500?
The Nemo 500 consists of outhouse races, a chili cookoff, scoop shovel races, and a cash prize raffle which goes to benefit the Naja Shrine Kids Transportation Fund. Two raffles will be carried out, each containing a prize of $500. “The cause is worth it totally, and we are all about competitiveness,” she said. “We think we should be involved in the community as much as we can, and so this is one of the things we do.”
For the fourth year in a row the saloon, under the group name “The Skid Marks,” has entered their vehicle. Every year, they make modifications to improve their racer which adds to the feeling of competition. “I think the competitiveness is really my focal point in a lot of it. But we do just have a blast like everybody wants to ride with us up there for the races and it’s so much fun. “
What are the rules of the competition?
According to the Nemo 500 website, the rules for the outhouse races are as follows:
Outhouses can only be human-powered. No electric, solar or gas-powered assistance
Outhouses must have 4 walls, a roof, a doorway and a seat with at least one hole. It may have a door, but the door must remain securely open during the race.
Outhouse must be a minimum of 9 square feet at the base and a maximum overall width not to exceed 6 feet including grasping or pushing devices. A minimum height of 5 feet from the floor to the highest point of the roof.
Any number and size of wheels or skis may be used.
Any device for pushing or pulling the Outhouse may be used except ropes. All pushing or pulling devices must be secured solid
Outhouses may be built from any material but glass and must be structurally sound
Each entry must have an Outhouse name that is to be displayed on each side of the structure. Sponsors’ names may be displayed anywhere on the outside.
In addition, there are three different groups for participants based on age: 12-25, 26-45, and 46 and over.
Do they have fun?
Yes. So much, McAuley says, that they have to schedule accordingly every year to make sure people are still on-hand to staff the saloon. And it is not just the competition that brings them together, but what it means to be part of the event as a whole. And that comes across in how they put together their outhouse racer. “It is kind of eclectic, like The Knuckle. It is many different pieces of different sorts of things. It was originally a log hauler of Tyler’s dad that has been modified over the years to look like this.”
When is the Nemo 500?
The Nemo 500 takes place on February 25, and more information can be found on their website and Facebook page.