Bathtubs are not just for bathing in Summerhill. This fall, they’ll once again be used for racing.
After a 12-year-long lull, the town of Summerhill has decided to bring back the famed bathtub race that Moravia used to hold annually during its Fillmore Days. Supervisor Charlie Ripley said the town decided to bring back the bathtub races both to revive a beloved community event and raise money to benefit an important historical landmark.
"What we're actually trying to do is raise money to benefit the presidential birth site," Ripley said.
President Millard Fillmore, 13th president of the United States, was born in Summerhill in 1800. To help keep up the president’s birth site, Ripley said the town believed revitalizing the bathtub races would be perfect way to fundraise.
"What we’re really trying to do is get a bathroom in there," Ripley said.
Ripley said the community responded to the announcement with a surprising amount of excitement. He said people from all over -- especially in Summerhill and Moravia -- were happy to hear about the bathtub races coming back.
"There’s a lot of them that already want to sign up," he said. "It’s surprising."
Ripley said Summerhill has tentatively slated its 2012 bathtub race for 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 on land next to the presidential birthsite. He said he hoped between 20 to 30 teams would sign up for the 250-foot-long race.
Along with paying a $75 entry fee, Ripley said teams -- restricted for participants ages 18 and up -- needed to have a cast-iron bathtub equipped with wheels, along with steering and braking capabilities. The supervisor said teams are welcome to decorate and put advertisements on their tubs.
To help participants find old-fashioned tubs, Ripley asked community members interested in selling their old tubs to call the Summerhill town office.
If the event goes swimmingly, Ripley said Summerhill will hold the bathtub race annually. And with members of Moravia already dusting off their old racing tubs, it seems the revival won’t have trouble fostering support.
"People are crazy about it," Ripley said. "I never knew there was that much interest."
Staff writer Samantha House can be reached at 282-2822 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at Citizen_House.
To sign up
Summerhill’s Bathtub Race: Call Town Clerk Carol Chase at 497-3494.