Outhouse Olympics

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Welcome to the annual Mountain Foliage Festival in Independence, where outhouse racers run for the golden throne, toilet paper is tossed and the loveliest "ladies" are crowned Potty Princesses.

By Landmark News Service

INDEPENDENCE — The annual Mountain Foliage Festival features events you can see nowhere else, like outhouses on wheels racing down the street, a Potty Princess “beauty” pageant and a toilet paper toss.
The town's Grand Privy Race was recently named the state's official outhouse race by the Virginia General Assembly. Teams pull custom-built outhouses — or “privies” — in a race for the prized bedpan trophy.
The event kicks off today, Friday, with a pie baking contest and the pageant tonight.


The double elimination privy race will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday with heats until a winner is determined. The decorated privies are pushed down Main Street by teams of five vying for $500, $300 and $200.
The first place team will be presented with a rotating trophy to display for the year.
This year, businesses and groups are invited to build privies, racing or not, to compete for the People’s Choice award for the best privy.
All privies, racing or not, must meet the rules of construction which are available at www.independenceva.com.
Various old-fashioned games — including three legged races, pumpkin seed spitting and a pie eating contest — will be held during the day on Saturday, as well as the annual toilet paper tossing contest at 2 p.m. at the McKnight Lot, located on the corner of U.S. 58 and U.S. 21.
Face painting, pony rides, an inflatable bouncy house and other children’s activities will be available, as well. T-shirts will be sold. Attendees may also enjoy a ride on the mechanical bull.
The band Hard Cider will perform at the Historic 1908 Courthouse.
Festival sponsors include Grayson National Bank, Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home, Walter's Drug, Woody's Pharmacy, Independence Family Care Center, the Town of Independence Special Events Committee and Grayson County Tourism.

Isn't she... lovely?
Skillful makeup application.
Perfectly tailored clothes.
Swimsuit competition.
Knowledge of current events.
Traditional beauty pageants are all about poise.
Colorful beauties talk about global warning and world peace all while smiling through glossy lips and teetering on six-inch stilettos.
It's a stressful and mostly thankless pursuit, unless you're one of the few who go home with the jeweled crown.
But for the seventh annual Potty Princess Pageant hosted by the Town of Independence Special Events Committee, participants won't have their eyes on the crown — but on the throne.
The committee will hold its spoof on traditional beauty pageants 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8 in the Baldwin Auditorium of the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence.
Contestants are advised to dress up in their “finest” attire, put in their “good” teeth and join the show for a night of hilarity.
Contestants will be judged on talent, costuming and interviews.
Participants should remember this motto when competing, say events committee members: "The less talent, the better. It's just for fun."
A $250 cash prize will be awarded to the winner — male or female.
Prize packages also will be awarded to second and third places.
Admission is free. Donations will be accepted at the door to benefit the Historic 1908 Courthouse's Confederate Soldier Statue restoration.
The contest is open to males and females ages 15 and older. Contestants should arrive at the Baldwin Auditorium around 6 p.m.
For more information or to submit an application, call Jacqueline at (276) 773-2230.
Application forms may be downloaded at www.independenceva.org.

Festival offers slice of fun
Have your Granny’s famous apple pie recipe or your church group's fried pie recipe?
Enter one or all of three categories of pies being judged this year including apple, pumpkin and fried pies.
Contestants can drop off their pies at the Historic 1908 Courthouse’s gazebo before 12:30 p.m. today, Friday. Judging begins at 1 p.m.
A “silver” keepsake spatula along with other prizes will be awarded in each category.
Pre-register a pie entry with Carol Lundgren by e-mailing lundgren@ls.net.
Remember to mark pie plates, if they’re not disposable, so they can be returned.