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

Cowichan Lake community steps up to support food bank

Forest Cooperative pledges $4,000 a month, Virtual Bottle Drive launched

Cowichan Valley man dies in single-vehicle collision

First responders called to Miller Road shortly after midnight on Thursday

Cowichan Valley parks and trails remain open for health and wellbeing of residents

Cowichan governments agree essential to provide residents with opportunities to enjoy the outdoors

Editorial: Foregoing backyard burning one small thing we can do for COVID-19 sufferers

All jurisdictions in the Cowichan Valley are under no-burn orders at this time.

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

B.C., Alberta health ministers urge public to stay home Easter weekend

Regional politicians, online petition calling for closure of provincial border to non-essential traffic

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C. First Nations Health Authority launches virtual doctor program

Program to provide primary health care through COVID-19 pandemic

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Statistics Canada report looks at COVID-19’s impact on violence in the family

Police across Canada reported almost 100,000 cases of intimate partner violence in 2018

132,000 B.C. jobs lost just the start of COVID-19 impact, finance minister says

Finance Minister Carole James says ‘this isn’t the entire picture’

Most Read