Businesses impacted by cancelled Trenary Outhouse Classic

Races unable to be held this year because of COVID-19 restrictions
Published: Feb. 27, 2021 at 8:27 PM EST
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TRENARY, Mich. (WLUC) - For the past 27 years, dozens of spectators and participants would show up for the annual Trenary Outhouse Classic, where people would hit the streets and race their handmade outhouses.

This year, the streets are practically empty. The races were cancelled last month, with the event committee’s president, Mimi Cady, saying they could not meet the coronavirus restriction of having no more than 25 people per 1,000 sq. ft. area.

“The regulations were making it very difficult for us to comply,” she said.

Cady says revenue has been lost this year, with the town’s small businesses also facing a financial impact. For places like Trenary Tavern, owner Cindy Essenburg says the Outhouse Classic is one of the busiest days of the year.

“The doors are pretty much open,” Essenburg explained. “There are just people coming in and out, and it’s just full. I would probably get around 100 people in here.”

This weekend, however, is a regular weekend for Essenburg, serving customers at 25% capacity. She also says she mostly misses the tourists.

“It’s just sad that they can’t partake this year,” she said, “because today, being 40 degrees, it would have been an excellent day for it.”

Cady says she and the committee have come up with a way to make up some of the missed income.

“We went ahead and came up with a logo,” she stated. “We are selling apparel. We have hoodies, t-shirts, and sweatshirts that we’re selling this year.”

Cady also hopes to hold raffles and other small events later this year to make up some of the lost revenue. She and Essenburg are optimistic the Outhouse Classic will return in 2022.

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