Bathtub racer Brandon Leigh nears the finish line at the 2017 Great International World Championship Bathtub Race. NEWS BULLETIN file

Editorial: Be a fan of our unofficial civic sport, bathtubbing

Nanaimo’ Bathtub Weekend starts today, July 20, and culminates with the great race Sunday, July 22

When we tell people we’re from Nanaimo, a lot of us get subsequently asked if we eat a lot of Nanaimo bars there, and we proudly reply that we love them.

It’s a part of our community – kind of like bathtubs.

The Great International World Championship Bathtub Race is this Sunday, July 22, the centrepiece of one of Nanaimo’s most fun weekends of the summer. The great race, street fairs, family activities, parade, fireworks, concerts and beer gardens are what’s planned for the Nanaimo Marine Festival’s Bathtub Weekend.

We hope to see Maffeo Sutton Park full to overflowing for the great race, and similar community spirit and attendance in the downtown these next few days. Downtown Nanaimo could use something as unflinchingly positive as a community festival. The area is in the midst of a challenging few months as some serious social issues, which always exist, have been thrown into sharper relief.

If there have been reasons to be upset about things happening in Nanaimo, or even sheepish sometimes, well, the good feelings around festival season are a reminder of our community’s charm.

Even if bathtubs aren’t everyone’s idea of what Nanaimo’s identity should be, it’s fun to hop on the bandwagon, in kind of the same way that non-football fans watch the Super Bowl. After all, if the great race isn’t the Super Bowl of Bathtubbing, then what is?

As the thrills and spills happen in the strait, there’s going to be a lot of fun on the seashore, and we hope to see you there.

And that way, when we tell people we’re from Nanaimo, and get subsequently asked if we watch a lot of bathtub races there, we can proudly reply that we love them.

RELATED: Thieves can’t steal Nanaimo’s tubbing spirit

RELATED: Video and results from the 2017 great race

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