Drone video immortalizes Belfast’s nuts garbage can race

drone video garbage can

In recent years, aerial tech both large and small has been developed and deployed for a rapidly expanding number of uses – from business applications to research, photography to firefighting, leisure flight to warfare. This weekend, a pilot in Northern Ireland city of Belfast took his drone to the sky to capture video of one neighborhood’s annual celebration for posterity – notably, this year’s truly insane “wheelie bin” garbage can race.

The contest was part of the West Belfast Féile an Phobail, an annual arts, culture, and fun festival established in 1988 as an effort to reunite communities ripped apart by the sectarian violence that bloodied the city for decades. This year, the Springhill area added its own spice to the usual mix of performances, games, sports, and entertainment with the wheelie bin race. Thankfully, the spectacle was videoed by a drone as the six contestants dragged their garbage cans behind them while friends, family members, and neighbors pelted them with water, flour, and any other non-injurious substance that came to hand. Nobody would have believed it could happen otherwise.

As the footage shows, it was most certainly not a contest for anybody easily annoyed, or otherwise prone to letting such playful abuse get, um, up their nose. 

In addition to capturing some really nice shots of Springhill and its residents coming together for fun, urban athletics, and creative mistreatment of neighbors, the drone video also provides graphic evidence of just how difficult speed-dragging a wheel-fitted garbage can actually is. 

Also worth noting are the contrasting techniques for wheelie bin conveyance – a couple participants actually try pushing the things early on. Meanwhile, check out the contestant who, at about the 56th second mark, totally cheats by turning around two-thirds through the first lap to join race leaders in the sprint toward the finish line. 

It’s unlikely that that part of the drone video will be reviewed by Springhill garbage can race officials to revise the final rankings, but it may lead the competition’s miscreant to be harshly judged by neighborhood’s court of public opinion. 

Even so, he probably won’t care about any condemnation for another month or so – the time it will take participants to fully remove the enormous volume of flour and other powders that filled their eyes, ears, and nostrils during the race.


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