With the Chain Gang theme in mind, it’s built for a quick get-away. The reigning champion of the Great Ozark Outhouse Race will return to the Bagnell Dam Strip this weekend. The builder of the privy on wheels says he intends to be the first one to make the 100-yard dash to the finish line.
With the Chain Gang theme in mind, it’s built for a quick get-away.
The reigning champion of the Great Ozark Outhouse Race will return to the Bagnell Dam Strip this weekend. The builder of the privy on wheels says he intends to be the first one to make the 100-yard dash to the finish line.
Teams have been test-driving their makeshift latrines to prepare for the outhouse races Saturday during Oma and Noma Days, which celebrates the first trip across Bagnell Dam.
In it’s inaugural year, Old Time Photos owner Don Roelofs said he decided to enter in 2007 but had no plans to conquer the toilet seat trophy. He says the win was unintentional and admits not a lot of thought went into the design.
“I was halfway serious about it, but I ended up getting young men that there was no way in the world they wanted to lose the race,” Roelofs said.
The same Chain Gang crew will return in an attempt to hold the title of king of the throne.
“The same convicts are still behind bars,” Roelofs said. “They claim to be training.”
No modifications to the outhouse have been made. The original 6.5-foot tall outhouse was made with a couple of 2x4s, cedar shake roofing and took about 12 hours to build. It’s lightweight and built for speed, he says.
Roelofs said he is more interested in seeing how it holds up. “The boys still plan to win, the designer doesn’t really care.”
There is still time to enter. Outhouse race organizer Jeff Van Donsel says as long as the entries meet the specifications, they can join in.
Outhouses will be measured to make sure they qualify shortly before the races begin at noon.
The race course runs on the Strip from near the Lake Ozark Police Station headquarters to the White House.
For a race that doesn’t take much effort, the frog-jumping contest is the place to be. Held next to Peace Frogs, registration begins at 1 p.m. with the contest startingy at 2 p.m.
Last year about 60 kids and adults entered, according to one of the organizers Kay Turvold.
For $1, anyone wanting to enter can rent a frog and see how far their pick can jump. Proceeds go toward the Lake Ozark Police Department’s Benevolent Fund.
Last year money was used to help purchase equipment and sponsor families for Christmas.
Turvold said her grandchildren have already scouted out country ponds to select the 20 or so frogs that will be brought in for the contest.
There will be plenty on hand, but people are allowed to bring their own.
Each frog gets three jumps. The longest jump is documented and a winner in each age group is picked.
While some frogs are more willing, others need a nudge, she says.
In the end, the frogs will be released below Bagnell Dam.
Oma and Noma Days will be held Sept. 27 and 28.
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