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

Just Posted

Kitimat man gets 18 months for sexual touching and possession of child porn

Bradley Scott Sears appeared before court in Terrace after pleading guilty

Northern B.C. cities break temperature records amid cold snap

Quesnel dipped to -41.9 C, breaking a record from 1916

Pipeline at centre of B.C. conflict is creating jobs for First Nations: chief

All 20 elected band councils along the Coastal GasLink pipeline route have signed benefits agreements

RCMP create access control checkpoint on Morice West Forest Service Road

Premier says Coastal GasLink project will proceed despite opposition

Horgan says ‘rule of law applies,’ Coastal GasLink will proceed despite protests

The 670-kilometre pipeline is part of a $40 billion liquefied natural gas project

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Oil and gas industry applauds Supreme Court’s dismissal of B.C. TMX case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Airliner crash a mistake that pleased Iran’s enemies: Supreme Leader Khamenei

Iran’s supreme leader says dowining of Flight 752 was a bitter accident in rare sermon

Sub-zero B.C. weather freezes clothing in just 45 minutes

A local photographer decided to have some fun with the frosty weather before its gone

Special prosecutor to review Cranbrook toddler drowning case

Evidence disclosure at issue in the case of a woman sentenced for criminal negligence causing death

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

Vancouver Island child struck, pinned under SUV while sledding

Boy suffers serious injuries, no charges laid in incident

Unprepared for chemistry test, B.C. student begs superintendent to call another snow day

The student from West Vancouver promised he would study more, but was distracted by skiing and hot chocolate

Most Read