Each year, Hot Springs honors its ‘Spa City’ title by hosting the quirkiest race around—The Running of the Tubs. Costumed teams push authentic bathtubs outfitted with wheels in a sprint downtown. The 9th Annual Stueart Pennington Race, as the Running of the Tubs is formally called, will start on May 17 at 9am.
The rules for the race have some strange standards. Each member must keep one hand on the tub at all times; each of the four members pushing the tub must wear hats and suspenders, and all members must be 18 or older. The fifth member must be in the bathtub for the entirety of the race, taking a bath. Each team must begin and end the race with a bar of soap, a bathmat, a loofah mitt, and a bath towel.
There are also very specific rules for the bathtubs—from wheel and axle size to the minimum size of bathtub. However, when it comes to race strategies and costumes, anything goes! Plus, the rules of the race can change at anytime, including during the race. Teams can win the travelling winner’s trophy, or a Most Original Tub or Most Humorous Tub trophy.
The audience for the Running of the Tubs race is encouraged to participate in the spirit. Bring your water guns, and don’t forget to wear your robes, house slippers, and shower cap! The race supports the Downtown Merchants Christmas Tree Fund, but it’s free for spectators, so come enjoy the festivities.
If you’d like to join in the fun, consider adding a stay at Lookout Point to your adventure. Each room comes with a view of Lake Hamilton, a gourmet breakfast in the morning, and a luxurious bed for relaxation. You can reserve online or call 501.525.6155 for more information on our Hot Springs luxury lodging.