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Sicamous, B.C. riding newfound 'Old Town Road' fame til it can't no more
The tourist town of Sicamous, B.C., is capitalizing off a summer smash hit that has the same name as one of its thoroughfares. Sicamous mayor Terry Rysz poses for an undated handout photo. The town has decided to start printing up signs of Old Town Road -- the popular Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus tune -- and selling them for $25 each. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Joe McCulloch
Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press
Published Friday, August 2, 2019 3:54PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 2, 2019 4:54PM EDT
SICAMOUS, B.C. -- Can't nobody tell a British Columbia town nothin' about how to capitalize from one of its streets sharing a name with the smash hit song “Old Town Road.”
The hip-hop-country track by up-and-coming rapper Lil Nas X and featuring “Achy Breaky Heart” singer Billy Ray Cyrus has been No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for a record 17 weeks.
About half a dozen Old Town Road signs started disappearing from an intersection in Sicamous, B.C., a few months ago.
Mayor Terry Rysz doesn't know who has been stealing the street signs. The tourist spot on the shore of Shuswap Lake in the B.C. Interior is popular with house-boaters during the summer, when its population swells from 2,600 to 10,000.
“It could be kids. It could be locals. It could be visitors. It's a mystery to me,” Rysz said Friday.
But instead of cracking down on the thefts, Sicamous decided to find a way to spin the situation into something fun - and maybe even profitable.
“Instead of you stealing the signs, we'll give you the opportunity to buy the signs,” said Rysz.
The local chamber of commerce has printed off 100 metal Old Town Road signs with the Sicamous logo.
As of 10 a.m. Friday, they officially went on sale for $25 each. District operations manager Joe McCulloch said they're already pretty much sold out, but he wants to make sure Lil Nas X and Cyrus both get one.
He said it would have been a waste of time and money to try to better secure the street sign with bolts or straps.
“The best thing we should do is just do the same thing as Abbey Road and Route 66 and just sell them,” he said.
McCulloch moved to Sicamous from Glasgow three years ago because he wanted a creative, fun job in a beautiful place.
He said the Old Town Road hoopla reinforces why he's there.
“We're here to try and help people have fun. We're not here to be restrictive. And that's the whole ethos,” he said.
“Our tag line is 'Live More.' Our tag line isn't 'restrict more.”'
Rysz said in a world with so much negativity, he's just happy to see so many people excited over a song.
“We're dancing to the music so it's all cool.”