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 2018! Join us Wednesdays, June 6 to August 22!

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
Games:
Turtle Ring Toss
Turtle Roll
Fishin’ For Fun
Turtles On the Fence

Turtle Touchdown
Turtle Bola Toss
Wiffle Ball Roll
Bag the Turtle

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

Turtle Race Results – Turtle Race Archives

Turtle Races — Aug. 16, 2017 — 269 Racers

Despite the rain, 269 intrepid turtle racers converged on downtown Longville to take part in the next-to-last turtle race of the 2017 season. As the showers shifted between light sprinkles and steady rain, racers and their families donned raincoats and huddled under umbrellas, while still enjoying the games and contests.
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Turtle Races — Aug. 9, 2017 — 406 Racers

For the third week in a row more than 400 turtle racers gathered in downtown Longville to try their luck in the racing circle. The rain held off on Aug. 9 so that families and friends could enjoy an afternoon of games, contests, food and fun. At the end of
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Turtle Races — Aug. 2, 2017 — 470 Racers

It was a great turtle racing day on Aug. 2 as 470 racers converged in downtown Longville to take their chances in the racing circle. At the end of the afternoon, Elizabeth Grant, age 22, of Placentia, California, bested 458 competitors in the regular races to be crowned Grand Champion
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Turtle Races — July 26, 2017 — 449 Racers

July 26th was a busy afternoon in downtown Longville as 449 turtle racers gathered to try their luck in the racing circle. The weather was perfect, the turtles were fast and, at the end of the day, a teenager from Alaska took top honors. After 439 turtles competed in the
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Turtle Races — July 19, 2017 — 355 Racers

It was an “exotic” afternoon in Longville July 19th, as 355 turtle racers gathered in the middle of downtown’s Main Street. Those racers included one family racing their pet African side-neck turtle, which has been a family pet for 10 years, and another family who had traveled all the way
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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!

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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
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