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.