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InterAmericas Venues: My Wish List

Dear Hashers,

This rant was written just before the Austin InterAmericas Hash in 2001, which Pick’n'Flick and I attended, and was meant to provoke some thinking on where the next IAH should be – as it turned out, IAH 2003 was in Costa Rica, IAH 2005 was Toronto, and IAH 2007 will be in Puerto Vallerta. Anyway, it’s still an interesting subject, and I hope it gives future IAH attendees and potential bidders something to think about. Thanks to Debriefed and Sister Maria (and most lately, Hunka Hunka Burning Shit of the Las Vegas HHH), who spotted heinous errors of fact in the first version of this rant, and who gently steered me toward the Shining Path of Truth and Righteousness. I feel much better now, don’t you?

On On,
Flying Booger

What is InterAmericas Hash, anyway? If you’re new to hashing, it’s one of several continental hash events held during odd-numbered years (the World InterHash is held during even-numbered years). InterAmericas, as you would guess, started out as an event for hashers from the Americas – Canada, the USA, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Today IAH has grown into an international event that attracts up to a thousand hashers from the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The core event lasts for three days, but there are pre- and post-lewds in various locations, and a visiting hasher can probably spend two weeks hashing to, at, and from IAH. IAH is right up there with Pan-Asia and the Aussie Nash Hash as a worldwide hash attraction. For the organizers it’s a huge job: Lining up sponsors and support, begging for cut rates from airlines and hotels, placating nervous locals, finding adult-friendly accommodations, talking local hashers into planning and setting dozens of different trails, each tailored for visitors who will range from elderly walkers to fat boy “never leave the campers” to seeded marathon and ultra runners and everything in between, then arranging transportation to and from all the run venues. And food. And skits, goodie bags, and enough beer to drown in. It’s the big time, that’s what it is, and the only thing that’s bigger is World InterHash.

Where has IAH been held to date? How about:

  • 1984: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • 1985: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
  • 1987: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 1989: San Diego, California, USA
  • 1991: Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA
  • 1993: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 1995: Orlando, Florida, USA
  • 1997: Trinidad & Tobago
  • 1999: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  • 2001: Austin, Texas, USA
  • 2003: San Jose, Costa Rica
  • 2005: Toronto, Canada
  • 2007: Puerto Vallerta, Mexico

Which leads to the question, where hasn’t it been, and its follow-on, where would we like it to be?

It hasn’t been in South America. There are hashers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Curitiba, Brazil. Haven’t you always wanted to go to Lima or Quito or Bogota? Wouldn’t it be great to have a valid excuse? But are there enough hashers there to host IAH, and can the rest of us afford to travel that far?

Although IAH has been in Costa Rica, twice now, there’s another nice destination south of the USA – Mexico City. There are hashers in Mexico City. What more do we need, amigos? I wish we could do Cuba . . . in another ten years, maybe we can.

It’s been in Canada, twice, in relatively remote Alberta and mega-city Toronto. Edmonton bid on World InterHash in 2006 – maybe they’ll bid on ISH too? And what about British Colombia – are there enough hashers there to host an IAH? Maybe if they hooked up with Seattle-area hashers, which . . .

. . . leads to my next idea, having it in the Northwest USA, virgin IAH territory. The Seattle area would be great, and so would almost anywhere in Colorado. The hashers in San Francisco do a marvelous job putting on the Bay to Breakers hash weekend every May, but it’s such a big event (400-500 visiting hashers) it would almost be a crime to ask them to take on another, even bigger event. Ditto the combined Colorado hashers, who put on the biennial Colorado InviHashional, another big and well-attended event. Which leaves Seattle very much in the running . . . if only Seattle is interested in bidding. How about a combined USA/Canada bid, spreading the run venues between Seattle and Vancouver?

I have a special interest in Las Vegas, having lived and hashed there, and I think it has tremendous potential as an IAH host venue. Las Vegas was an early bidder for World InterHash 2004 but the effort collapsed due to lack of interest – not on the part of hashers, but on the part of the organizers, who were not Las Vegas hashers – the aborted bid was actually mounted small group of Southern California hashers. Maybe Las Vegas will bid on a future IAH or even try another bid for World InterHash. I hope they do . . . but I won’t bet on it (get it?).

Boston would be interesting; so would upstate New York. Any interest there? Hawaii? Not really that expensive a destination, and some of the greatest shiggy hashing around. And lest you think I’m forgetting the glories of New Jersey, I sorta hope Rumson does win the bid, just to watch Mr. Jackson’s aneurism rupture!

Some Washington DC area hashes seem interested in bidding, but are afraid to commit because they “don’t have time” to put together a detailed bid package in time for the vote this Labor Day weekend. Who says a bid has to be all thought out, and that the pricing and hotels and airlines have to be arranged two years ahead of time? We all know the DC area can accommodate thousands and thousands of tourists at any time, and that the resources needed to work out the details are in place . . . we trust you, so bid already!

But having said all of the above (and I could go on), I keep thinking of one place that would be perfect for IAH, a place made for hashers. Can you spell N-e-w O-r-l-e-a-n-s? Let’s gang up on the Big Easy contingent at the next IAH . . . maybe if we get enough beer in ‘em we can talk ‘em into bidding!

- Flying Booger

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