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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Wealth tax needed as gap between rich and poor grows

Cannings: Disparity between super-wealthy and the rest is much greater than previously estimated

Ice coming to Trail arena as hockey season nears

Trail council agreed to install the ice in time for August hockey camps

Traffic finally eases along Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists were stuck for up to six hours in ferry lineups over the weekend

Rossland Art Gallery set to reopen to public

Three Kootenay artists will be featured in the gallery when it opens on July 8

B.C. records 31 new cases, six deaths over three days due to COVID-19

There are 166 active cases in B.C., 16 people in hospital

B.C. homeowners plead for action on condo insurance crisis

Strata property fees growing bigger than mortgage payments

Indigenous man behind complaint of BC Transplant’s alcohol abstinence policy has died

David Dennis, who is Nuu-chah-nulth, argued that six-month sobriety policy is a ‘lethal form of racism’

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Urge travellers to follow COVID-19 rules in a ‘gentle way’: B.C.’s top doctor

Cases surging in the U.S. have B.C. officials hoping the border stays shut all summer

96-year-old woman scales B.C. butte with help of family, friends

‘I did as I was told and I enjoyed every minute of it’

Parallel crises: How COVID-19 exacerbated B.C.’s drug overdose emergency

Part 1: Officials say isolation, toxic drug supply, CERB, contributing to crisis

Canadians with disabilities disproportionately hit by COVID-19 pandemic

More than four out of 10 British Columbians aged 70 and up have various disabilities

Most Read