Above, Lil Nas X performs the wildly popular “Old Town Road” at the BET Awards in Los Angeles.(Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File) Middle, an example of the signs the Sicamous Chamber of Commerce will be selling in response to interest in and thefts of the district’s Old Town Road sign. (District of Sicamous Image)

Thieves steal ‘Old Town Road’ sign in B.C. as megahit song makes history

Following the theft of the street sign, Sicamous to sell reproductions for $25 each

What was only a road sign in 2018 became a minor tourist attraction this summer in an Okanagan town — and then it was stolen.

A road sign marked Old Town Road has led out to Sicamous’ Old Town Bay for decades, but after the release of a smash hit single by hip hop artist Lil Nas X, the sign took on a new significance for fans of the song.

Old Town Road – the recording, not the roadway – recently broke records by topping the Billboard charts for 17 consecutive weeks. For the uninitiated, the wildly-popular track bridges the country and hip hop genres and features a verse from Billy Ray Cyrus of Achy Breaky Heart fame.

While on a run recently, Sicamous resident Sarah Nielsen noticed the sign marking the left turn off Sicamous Solsqua Road and onto Old Town Road had been taken.

“It was sort of a hit with all the tourists this summer, especially because it’s that age group renting the houseboats. They’re all about finding the perfect Snapchat or Instagram picture,” Nielsen said.

ALSO READ: Tappen area of Shuswap Lake shows high phosphorous and nitrogen levels

ALSO READ: Public advised not to swim at Sunnybrae Beach

When putting their family boat in the water at the Old Town Bay Marina, Nielsen said she often sees young people posing for photo underneath the sign.

She said her kids asked to record a music video under it when they had friends in town.

“I have an 11-year-old son and an 8-year-old daughter, they love the song, my son does a dance to it all the time,” Nielsen said.

The District of Sicamous is taking all the interest in the sign, and the accompanying theft, in stride. They are planning to have an Old Town Road sign branded with the Sicamous logo produced and on sale through the Sicamous and District Chamber of Commerce.

“I feel like it shows the positive attitude of Sicamous and how we approach issues, as well as promoting our amazing community,” said district operations manager Joe McCulloch.

He added the district plans to send one of the signs to Lil Nas X’s manager.

ALSO READ: Accused pleads not guilty in Shuswap cannabis trafficking case

ALSO READ: Filmmaker sees role for Shuswap on the silver screen

McCulloch said the district already has a policy in place for the sale of street signs which was drafted in response to demand for signs such as the one for Shea Weber Way, which leads to the local rec centre.

“We hope that this brings some smiles to people and also addresses the issue and allows us to cover the costs to replace the signs,” McCulloch said.

Chamber of Commerce executive director Sheila Devost said orders for the signs are already coming in, some from as far away as 100 Mile House.

The first 100 signs printed will be available for $25.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Festival parade ‘jazzes’ up downtown Nanaimo

Nanaimo International Jazz Festival closes with Laila Biali Trio Sunday

Fire official deems morning fire at Nanaimo school suspicious

Nanaimo Fire Rescue extinguishes fire at portable at École Océane

Nanaimo hotel tax set to go up

Hospitality association lays out five-year plan for tourism in Nanaimo

Tour de Rock ready to start making its way down Vancouver Island

Tour de Rock takes place Sept. 21 to Oct. 4

Public meeting will explore ideas to battle addiction and crime in Nanaimo

Organizers call for treatment centres, accountability for crimes, citizens’ task force

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Nanaimo high school students cut class to attend climate action rally

Extinction Rebellion Nanaimo rally raises awareness, demands action against climate change

Nanaimo beekeepers take down nest of giant hornets

One nest eradicated at Robins Park, but there are still Asian giant hornets around

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 19

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail bulletinboard@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo athletes earn gold, silver, bronze at 55-Plus B.C. Games

Huge contingent of local participants competed in largest-ever 55-Plus B.C. Games in Kelowna

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Most Read