Turtle Races

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Turtle Races

turtle-races1[1]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.

Join us Each Wednesday, June 8 to August 24!

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

Race winners and Chamber volunteers

Turtle Races — July 20, 2016 — 364 Racers in Downtown Longville

The seventh week of Longville turtle racing saw 364 racers enter the downtown circle, despite hot, humid weather and overcast skies. In the end, after 357 racers competed in the regular heats, the Grand Champion honors were shared by Chase Hoover, age 6, of Avondale, Arizona, and James Daum, age
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Turtle Races — July 13, 2016 — “Rain or Shine!”

The weather definitely did not cooperate July 13 as Longville hosted its weekly turtle races. Despite a brisk wind, intermittent rain showers and temperatures that stayed in the upper-60s, 363 intrepid turtle racers entered the downtown racing circle to compete for fun and prizes. After an afternoon of racing and
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Turtle Races — July 6, 2016 — Longville Hosts 477 Racers

This was the biggest Longville turtle race so far this season, as hundreds of racers, their friends and families converged downtown. Those racers included three young women from Madrid, Spain, who are counselors at Camp Olson YMCA. They even ascended the Turtlemobile stage to sing the “Macarena” in their native language.
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New inflatable Limbo game

Turtle Racers — June 29, 2016 — from as far away as Australia

Turtle racers from across the country and as far away as Melbourne, Australia, gathered in downtown Longville June 29 to play games and race turtles on a beautiful summer day. After 315 turtles competed in the racing circle, Katie Hamilton, age 8, of Houston, Texas, earned the Grand Champion title. Chloe
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The famous Chicken Dancers

Turtle Races — June 22, 2016 — Longville hosts 347 Racers

Almost 350 turtle racers and their families came to downtown Longville June 22 to compete for fun and prizes in the third turtle race of the season. They enjoyed an afternoon of games and contests, along with recognitions of those celebrating anniversaries and birthdays. In what may have been a
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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