Take an ice bath with wheels for a spin

Eight teams of three race for hometown bragging rights

Teams will battle for trophies during the races Saturday, in front of the Camas Public Library.


File photo

When temperatures soar, kids loved getting soaked with the fire hose in-between races

Bathtub races set the standard for Camas Days crazy and fun.

The water temperature inside these porcelain seats is a shivering 40 degrees. If the weather is warm, racing director Aaron Lutz said there’s no better place to sit.

Drivers who dare to take the plunge into these ice baths with wheels, and be pushed down the street by two friends, are in for the ride of a lifetime. Just watch those turns, Lutz said. The track gets slippery when water slushes out the sides as the tubs reach top speed.

“Come on down to Camas Days. We’ll have the hoses on and people are going to get wet,” Lutz said. “The best part about the whole thing is when the firefighter shoots water up in the air and all the kids run out into the street. If it’s hot on that day like it has been, this is the place to be.”

The bathtub races begin at 1 p.m. Saturday, following the Camas Days Grand Parade. The event features eight teams of three people — two pushing and one steering — a tub around five cones set up in front of City Hall. Participants must be age 18 or older, and sign a waiver.

Trophies will be awarded to the top three teams. Lutz expects to see the Bathtub Bandits return for some treasure. Local businesses such as Burgerville, Dairy Queen and iQ Credit Union are also looking for hardware. Teams can still sign up at the Lutz Hardware store, 505 N.E. Fourth Ave., or by calling 834-2663.

Bathtub races have been trending in Camas since the 1970s. Lutz takes on the responsibility of cleaning, painting and maintaining them. Les Schwab staff installed new tires a year ago.

“They’re a lot safer, and still just as fun,” Lutz said. “Nobody else has a bathtub race. You like coming to some town and seeing something you’ve never seen before.”