Ocean City Today

Annual Bathtub Races roll down Main St. in Berlin, Fri.

By Josh Davis | Jul 06, 2017
Photo by: Josh Davis / Ocean City Today The Burley Oak team celebrates after taking home the 2016 Berlin Bathtub Race trophy. Burley racers Joie Police and Kasey Jones won the deciding race, narrowly edging out the defending champs, from Berlin Water Resources.

(July 7, 2017) Returning champions Burley Oak Brewing Company will defend its title during the 2017 Berlin Bathtub Races this Friday.

The local brewing company will again bring two racers this year. In 2016, Burley entered its traditional beer barrel, pushed by owner Bryan Brushmiller, but it won with a new custom-built craft by Loaded Gun Customs in Fenwick Island and operated by Joie Polite and Kasey Jones.

Winners of the 2015 races, the Town of Berlin’s Water Resources Department, finished a close second last year with a tub operated by Sean Cooper and Ryan Showell.

The annual event, a quirky signature of the town, challenges local businesses and organizations to build a bathtub-like vessel that can hold water, but also could be used as a racing vehicle with one person steering and another pushing.

Sponsored by the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, the race this year will begin at about 4 p.m. downtown with a parade of all of the Bathtub Race entrants led by “The Bathmen,” volunteers Kenny “Cupcake” Tomaselli, Bill Hoshal and Mike Wiley. For the first time, a three-piece bagpipe band will lead the procession.

New Chamber Administrative Assistant Ashley Harrison said seven other teams had signed up as of last week: Bath Fitters, Berlin Farm Supply, Costa Ventosa Winery and Brewery, Seaside Plumbing Inc., The Globe, and Harrison’s Roofing Consultants. Gilbert’s Provisions, Steel N Glory and Bruder Hill will also collaborate on a new team.

“We’re hopeful that Burley will try to reclaim their title, but we’re also rooting to see the Berlin Water guys rally and grab their title back,” Chamber Executive Director Larnet St. Amant said.

Ocean 98 will emcee and the 50/50 raffle and rubber duck sale, now an annual tradition. Last year’s winner took home more than $600.

St. Amant said the bathtub races would also honor Jesse Turner, who died in March. The former Berlin Shoe Box owner was the winningest racer in the history of the Berlin Bathtub Races.

“Hopefully, the weather will be good and we have a good turnout,” St. Amant said. “We’ve got it pretty dialed in at this point, and we’re all really looking forward to it.”

For more information, visit www.berlinchamber.org.

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