Berlin To Host 32nd Annual Bathtub Races June 10

BERLIN– The coveted Rubber Duck Trophy will once again be on the line as the Berlin Bathtub Races return.

The Berlin Chamber of Commerce will host the 32nd annual Berlin Bathtub Races June 10. Entries are now being finalized for the popular event.

“This event puts Berlin in a class of towns that only a few places in the world reach,” said Ryan Nellans, executive administrator for the chamber, likening it to Delaware’s former tradition of Punkin Chunkin. “This is our own weird and fantastic tradition that’s become a part of our identity and our home. It’s part of who and what we are.”

The races, which will be held from 6-8 p.m. on June 10, draw hundreds of onlookers to Main Street each year as fans line up to watch local organizations race their modified bathtubs. Nellans said he expected at least eight teams to be competing in this year’s races. The winner will be determined through a series of heats, with the final two teams left competing for the trophy. Last year’s winning team from Worcester County, Camp Coast, will be among this year’s racers.

While some competitors will be racing first-time tubs, others are returning tried and true bathtubs. Not just any tub will do, as the bathtubs being raced have to be authentic and capable of holding at least two gallons of water. Wheels have to be less than 26 inches and the bathtub is required to have brakes and steering. For those seeking inspiration for building a racing tub, the champion tub used for years by Jesse Turner of the Berlin Shoe Box is on display in the town’s welcome center. Retired from its racing days, it is now used to collect donations of shoes for Diakonia, a local shelter.

The Bearded Men’s Society, an Ocean City based group that likes to support local causes, will be participating in the races again this year after an inaugural run last year. They’re eager to have a second chance, as they had to bow out halfway through last year’s event when their tub’s brakes failed.

“We got our brakes fixed and we’re ready to go,” club member Robert Dunne said. “We’ve got a group of guys that like to help out in the community so when there’s an event like this we try to get involved.”

The June 10 event will also feature a hula hoop contest for children, a rubber duck raffle and shopping opportunities downtown. This year’s race will be televised by WBOC’s Delmarva Sports Network.

For more information on this year’s event, search for the Berlin Bathtub Races on Facebook or call the chamber at 410-641-4775.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.