- CLOSE LIST -
The Judging of the Tubs will begin on Friday, June 3, 2022, at 6:00 pm. Then the Running of the Tubs on World Famous Bathhouse Row in Hot Springs, Arkansas, will be held the following day, Saturday, June 4th at 9:00 am with awards to follow.
The races will begin from the starting line in front of the Arlington Resort Hotel and Spa at the north end of the famed bathhouses along Central Avenue.
Laura Miller, Hot Springs National Park Superintendent stated, “We know tossing water balloons at participants – and other spectators – has long been part of the experience. However, a single balloon ingested by a fish, turtle, or bird can kill them. This is why they are not allowed in the national park. The Running of the Tubs takes place right over Hot Springs Creek, and all that balloon debris goes from the street to the creek (which is filled with fish, turtles, and birds), and ends up in Lake Hamilton, a popular fishing spot for many. We hope spectators will join us in using refillable Super Soakers or other water-soaking devices to save our wildlife and also to have better aim and distance when soaking Tub Race contestants”.
The bathtub races, which began in 2005, were canceled in 2020 because of the COVID pandemic. This year’s event will be the 15th running of the event.
The family of the late Stueart Pennington will once again lead the Parade of the Tubs from Hill Wheatley Plaza to the starting line at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning, June 5. The Running of the Tubs is named in honor of Pennington, a downtown merchant who advocated tirelessly for the establishment of bathtub races to emphasize Hot Springs’ reputation as a thermal bathing mecca whose motto for many decades was “We Bathe The World.”
The annual Judging of the Tubs will be held Friday, June 4, at, 6 p.m. at Hill Wheatley Plaza.
“The added attraction is that this year’s Running of the Tubs will help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the establishment of Hot Springs National Park,” Solleder said. “The Park is doing a year-long centennial celebration, and we’re proud to be able to contribute an element of fun to the Centennial. What could be more fun than crazily costumed teams pushing regulation bathtubs down Central Avenue in front of Bathhouse Row?”
“The Running of the Tubs is another of the great family-friendly celebrations that are so popular with our residents and visitors,” Solleder said. “The crowds lining Bathhouse Row and joining in the wacky fun by shooting Super Soakers at the racers have been growing every year as word spreads about this super free event.”
The incredibly arcane (and endlessly fluid) rules for the races include:
“The races began 16 years ago as the Steuart Pennington Running of the Tubs, and Mr. Pennington will still be honored as the motivating force behind the event with the awarding of the Steuart Pennington Cup to the winning teams,” Solleder said. “Mr. Pennington was a long-time downtown merchant who pushed for the bathtub races to acknowledge Hot Springs’ rich history as a world-renowned thermal-bathing destination.”
“Arkansas hosts many unique, colorful and wacky events — a Turkey Drop in Yellville, Goat Fest, the World Championship Rotary Tiller Races, World’s Shortest St. Patrick’s Day Parade, cardboard boat races — but there is no event that is soaked in more fun than the Stueart Pennington World Championship Running of the Tubs in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas,” he said.
June 2, 2021