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Goldfish races are back at Harmon Taproom

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on April 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm with 9 Comments »
April 28, 2011 5:20 pm

After canceling its popular Tuesday goldfish races because of concerns of animal rights activists, The Harmon Taproom has decided to bring back the weekly entertainment starting next Tuesday, but with some changes.

“Goldfish races were extremely popular and so we listened to feedback from both sides of fish lovers and decided to make sure we had better rules to ensure the fish went safely back
into their nice, clean aquarium after their weekly races,” explained Harmon owner Pat Nagle in an email.

Earlier this month, the St. Helens district brewpub canceled the entertainment after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals waged an online campaign to end the “cruel” practice. “Every Tuesday, the bar had hosted live goldfish races in which patrons put fish into long plastic gutters and used squirt bottles, squirt guns, and straws to push them to the finish line,” according to the PETA website. “Some inebriated bargoers stabbed fish with drinking straws or swallowed them whole.”

But in addition to animal-rights folks, the bar’s management heard from fish-racing supporters who thought PETA was overreacting. So they’re bringing the event back, “by popular demand and under strict goldfish racing rules,” according to Nagle.

“We will treat and care for them like the athletes that they are. Rules will be posted
and a staff member will ensure rules are followed; this staff member will also be the only one
handling the fish.”

The entertainment starts at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Taproom, 204 St. Helens Ave.

For more details check out the event’s Facebook page.

Also, props to Halley Griffin over at KOMO.com for breaking the news.

Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. BlaineCGarver says:

    Finally…someone with the gonads to tell PETA to shove it.

  2. Doesn’t surprise me the Harmon needs publicity. Even bad publicity.
    I think if they didn’t perennially ignore customers, they’d be fine.

  3. Yeah kinsmed, I am sure that is their primary business model; to ignore you and all of their customers.

  4. Check a few of their reviews.

  5. Frankly123 says:

    I’m not concerned about the fish. But I think it shows weak management to cancel due to one groups wishes and then resume due to another groups wishes. Not an impressive business handling of a dorky bar stunt to pull in customers mid week.

  6. cuzzinmiko says:

    i think everyone should at least have a fishing license

  7. I’m so thankful. I don’t know why but I’m so thankful.
    If they can figure out a way to keep a goldfish alive
    let me know. I’ll be so thankful.

  8. sgadber says:

    An establishment committed to selling alcoholic beverages versus an organization committed to promote animal rights. Neither one flawless. You make your pick based on what is important to you and stick to that if you want. However, making fun of any kind of suffering is probably saying more about you than you realize.

  9. Omega6234 says:

    Where do these feeder fish go if not to the races??? probably into some predators hungey stomach. PETA.. about 95% of what they do is just plain stupid.

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