Home > Travelogue > Beds, Barstools, and Bikinis: What You’ll See at the Many Zany Races of Northern Wisconsin

Beds, Barstools, and Bikinis: What You’ll See at the Many Zany Races of Northern Wisconsin

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Sure, we’ve got the World Championship Snowmobile Derby (Eagle River) and the American Birkebeiner (the largest cross-country ski race, spanning from Cable to Hayward), but northern Wisconsin also likes to put on some zany, light-hearted races where gumption and a good sense of humor give competitors the edge. Here are some of our favorites coming up this season.

Outhouse Races

In the Sixth Annual Outhouse Races on Saturday, February 1, at Dawn & Bob’s Firelane Bar & Grill (W10876 County Road C, Athelstane), you can compete for prizes for not only the fastest outhouse but also the best-decorated outhouse. You have the option to build your own or use one of the event host’s outhouses as your racing vehicle. Register your two-person team for $20. This is one of the most popular fundraisers for the area’s first responders, so come and have a laugh as you enjoy the entertaining races, raffles, live music, food, and drink specials. Festivities start at 11 a.m. All proceeds go to the Athelstane Fire Department and Silver Cliff Rescue.


Bed Races

FarFromSnoozin’ Bed Races on the Ice are purportedly “the most fun you can have in your PJs.” Five-person teams can register for $25 per team with 100 percent payout. One team member will be stationed on the bed while the other four team members push him or her to the finish. Beds will be provided. This event takes place on Saturday, February 1, at Birch Hills Resort/My Bar, 16688 Nicolet Road, Townsend. Registration begins at noon, and races start at 1 p.m. If you have any questions, contact Dawn at 715-276-6195.


Recliner Races

The next event isn’t for lazy boys (or girls)! In the Recliner Races, part of Conover’s Northwoods Blizzard Blast on Saturday, February 15, team members will push their teammates in recliners along the ice to the finish line. (Read more about this and the other festivities that make up Northwoods Blizzard Blast right here.)


Barstool Races

The Drummond Sno-Jacks Snowmobile Club’s Barstool Races will return to Drummond for their 21st year on Saturday, February 15. This kooky fundraiser will be held on the manmade Brian Miller Hill, just behind the Black Bear Inn on Highway 63, in the middle of the beautiful Chequamegon National Forest.

Locals and out-of-towners decked out in costumes compete head-to-head on modified barstools for prizes in Powder Puff, Open Class, and Best in Show categories. Racers, seated on a barstool, are pushed by their partners across the start line and down a 25-foot slope. Racers must remain seated on the barstool without their feet touching the track. Delicious chili, brats, and beverages, as well as great prizes and tons of laughs, make this an event to remember. The field is limited to 64 racers, so register early if you want a piece of the competition. Register in advance for $30 or register on race day for $50. You can find entry forms at Bear Country, Black Bear Inn, MJ’s Mill Pone, KD’s Bear Den, and Cable Chamber of Commerce. Check-in begins at 11 a.m., and races begin at noon. Proceeds to the Bayfield County Snowmobile Alliance to help groom and maintain the snowmobile trails.


Bikini Races

This popular fundraising event held at many northern Wisconsin’s snowmobile races features hardy snowmobilers racing in the cold, donning bikinis. A bikini run will be part of the fun at the well-known Frosty Club Radar Run, to be held at Bent’s Camp Resort (6882 Helen Creek Road, Land O’ Lakes) on Saturday, February 15, starting at 10 a.m. Featuring snowmobile races, the bikini run, 50/50 raffles, and a chili fundraiser, this fun event has attracted participants and visitors from five states. You don’t want to miss this one!


Racing at Midnight

After a long winter, runners and walkers are so excited to get back on the trail that they gather in the middle of the night to do just that. Join these fools for the Only Fools Run at Midnight 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, April 4, at 10 p.m. at Lakeland Union High School (Highway 70 W, Minocqua).  Come in costume—special awards given to the Best Dressed Fool and Best Dressed Groups of Fools, in addition to awards for fastest finishers. Doors open at 7 p.m. for registration and merriment. Music, snacks, and beverages will be available for registered participants to enjoy. The race starts at the high school and takes racers along the shores of Lake Minocqua, along the back roads of Island City, to the Bearskin State Trail, past downtown Minocqua, and back to the school. Preregister for $25, or register for $30 on the day of the event. A family of up to five participants can preregister for $80 or register for $90 on the day of the race. This event is produced by Blue Raven in partnership with Lakeland Union High School. Proceeds will be split between the high school clubs and teams volunteering at the event.

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