Turtle Races

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Turtle Races

Longville’s iconic Turtle Races have been enjoyed by children of all ages for the last 50 years. Back in the mid-60s Russ Nyvall started the races to provide some special summer entertainment for residents and visitors.

Every Wednesday afternoon from June through late August, swimming beaches go strangely quiet; cabins, motels, cottages and resorts empty out; and streams of cars descend on the little town of Longville to race turtles.

Today, the turtle mobile rumbles into town at about noon each Wednesday. Promptly at 12:30 nearly 25 volunteers magically appear and unload the turtle mobile, close off main street, and transform the town into a mini-county fair.

See you in 2017! Join us Wednesdays, June 7 to August 23!

Race Day:
Registration: 1:00 pm
Contests: 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Games: 1:00 – 3:30 pm
Resort Turtle Race: 2:00 pm
Turtle Races: 2:05 – 3:30 pm
Turtle Ring Toss
Turtle Roll
Fishin’ For Fun
Turtles On the Fence

Turtle Touchdown
Turtle Bola Toss
Wiffle Ball Roll
Bag the Turtle

Hula Hoop Contest
Macarena Dance Contest
Chicken Dance Contest
‘YMCA’ Dance Contest

Turtle Race Results – Turtle Race Archives

Turtle Races — Aug. 24, 2016 — Final Race of the Season

The Rosewarne family from Minnetonka, Minnesota, reigned supreme during the last turtle race of Longville’s 2016 season, winning two of the three top titles. Ella Rosewarne, age 6, won Grand Slowpoke honors, and her brother, Ben age 12, won the Chamber Resort Race, representing Broadwater Lodge. The Grand Champion title went
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Turtle Races — Aug. 17, 2016 — 293 Racers

The next-to-last turtle race of the 2016 season saw 287 racers compete in the regular races and another six in the Chamber Resort Race. After an afternoon of heated competition on Aug. 17, Grand Champion honors went to Trevor Couch, age 15, of Ottumwa, Iowa, racing his turtle “Ricky” that
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Turtle Races — Aug. 10, 2016 —Out-of-State Sweep

The top prizes were all won by out-of-state visitors at the Aug. 10 turtle races in downtown Longville. Charlotte Tressel, age 3, of Houston, Texas, won Grand Champion honors, after logging the best time of the 344 racers in the regular heats. The Grand Slowpoke title went to Walton Bondurant,
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Turtle Races — Aug. 3, 2016 — Another 444 Racers

August ushered in a blockbuster turtle race as 444 racers and their families and friends gathered in downtown Longville to enjoy the games, contests and food and compete in the racing circle. With 433 contestants in the regular turtle races and another 11 in the Chamber Resort Race, the total
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Turtle Races — July 27, 2016 — Perfect Day, 444 Racers

It was a perfect day for turtle racing on July 27 when 444 racers, their families and friends, came to downtown Longville to enjoy the games, food, contests — and try their luck in the racing circle. It was the second largest field of racers this summer. After 435 contestants
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Turtle Race Archives

Racing Information

All games, contests and races are held in the center of town on main street.
For a $3 fee, race participants receive a turtle race button and a numbered sticker. When your race heat is called, turtle vendors bring out turtles from which you can select the turtle you’re going to race.

At about 1 p.m. after everything has been set-up, the games and contests begin. This includes the YMCA dance, chicken dance and hula-hoop contest, to name a few. Promptly at 2 p.m. the turtle races begin.

The first race of the day is the “Chamber Resort Turtle Race.” This race is for Chamber member lodging establishments who wish to send a participant for the resort race. To participate in this race, you get a resort race ticket from your resort prior to coming to the races and present it at the registration table. If your resort or lodging establishment is not a Chamber member, you still have the great opportunity to race in the regular turtle races for the grand prizes.

The regular turtle races start right after the resort race. Run in heats of ten, twelve, or fifteen turtles, the turtle racers then gather in the center circle. Turtle vendors bring out the turtles selected to race in that heat. At the moment that the announcer yells “go” and special turtle race music begins, the racers release their turtles. Instinctively, the turtles head out from the inner circle across the pavement to cross the outer circle. The fastest turtle to cross the outer circle wins a green ribbon, a special prize coupon and an opportunity to race again for big prizes in the championship round. The turtle that, for some unknown reason, chooses not to head out of the inner circle and that ends up closest to the letter “A in the word “Start” is declared the heat’s “slow poke.” This race participant wins a white ribbon, a special prize coupon and a chance to race again in the slow poke championship round. The victors from the championship rounds are awarded a plethora of prizes provided by Chamber member merchants.

Come to Longville for a great afternoon of family fun!

This was our daughter Grace’s first turtle race. Our family has been coming to your area for a little over 40 years now. We have had over 20 kids in the turtle races through the years. Grace has been one of the youngest. Her birthday is March 2, so she was about 3 months in the picture. Her turtle won her heat!! Thank you for all of the wonderful memories you have provided us! We look forward to being there every year.
– David and Mandy