Turtle Races probably seem sort of strange, but it has been a part of our community for 37 years now! It is just second nature to us. The family-friendly event attracts thousands of racers from all over the world each summer. It is definitely not something that you'll want to miss! 
 
While it has become second nature to us, we're sure that you have some questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked ones to get you started. If you have more, feel free to give us a call at 218.346.7710.
 
Frequently Asked Questions: 
  • How do the turtle races work? The racers will gather in the center circle and release their turtles when the whistle blows. We'll all watch while the turtle make their way to the outer circle. The first turtle to the outside ring wins! Then we'll gather all of the heat winners to race again until we have the top three places. 
  • How old (or young) do you have to be to participate? Anyone can race as long as they can get to the center of the track! We encourage racers of all ages, and we have volunteers available to help if you are unable (or too scared) to hold onto the turtles. 
  • How much does it cost? We ask for a $1 donation per racer. The proceeds are used to take care of the turtles over the summer. 
  • What time do the races start? Registration begins at 10am. The races will start at 10:30pm. 
  • Where are the races held? They are held in the City Hall Park, which is right on Main Street next to the Perham Area Chamber.
  • Are turtles provided? Yes, we have turtles available for use. A family takes care of them all summer and brings them to town for us each week.
  • Can I bring my own turtle? Absolutely! If you have been training a turtle for the races, we'd love to see what he or she can do. Just bring your turtle in a bucket so it doesn't get away from you!
  • Are other pets allowed? Please, no pets other than turtles allowed in the park during the races.
  • How long do the races take? Each individual race takes a few minutes. Depending on how many people we have, the races can last an hour to two hours.
  • Why are they called the International Turtle Races? We call it International because we have people from all over the world that join us to race turtles. 

Photos of Weekly Winners 

Week Fourteen: August 31, 2016

Miss Heart of the Lakes Outstanding Teen Sophia Roll and Announcer Dave Howey from Lakes 99.5 are shown with our Week 14 Turtle Race winners Bryce Olson from Perham, MN (2nd place), Isaiah Hexum from Perham, MN (1st place), and Maggie Klein from Perham, MN (3rd place). Thank you for joining us today!

Week Thirteen: August 24, 2016

Miss Heart of the Lakes Hannah Enge, and Miss Heart of the Lakes Outstanding Teen Sophia Roll, are shown with our Week 13 Turtle Race winners Isaiah Hexum from Perham, MN (3rd place), Maggie Klein from Perham, MN (2nd place), and Dylan Barker from Detroit Lakes, MN (1st place). Thank you for joining us today!

Week Twelve: August 17, 2016

Guest announcer Perham Mayor Timothy Meehl and Miss Perham Sarah Labine, are shown with our Week 12 Turtle Race winners, Carol Hexum from Perham, MN (2nd place), Kody Schultz from Alexandria, MN (3rd place), and Jane Quist from Tracy, MN (1st place). Thank you for joining us today!

Week Eleven: August 10, 2016

Announcer Dave Howey from Lakes 99.5, Miss Heart of the Lakes Hannah Enge, and Miss Heart of the Lakes Outstanding Teen Sophia Roll, are shown with our Week 11 Turtle Race winners Isaiah Hexum from Perham, MN (2nd place), Jared Stewart from Elko, MN (3rd place) and Elyen Franson from Duvall, WA (1st place). Thank you for joining us today!

Week Ten: August 3, 2016

Miss Heart of Lakes Outstanding Teen Sophia Roll, Miss Perham Sarah Labine, and announcer Dave Howey from Lakes 99.5 are shown with our Week 10 Turtle Race winners Maggie Klein from Perham, Brynn Vonseggern from Jacksonville Florida, and Reagan Dooley from Plymouth MN. Thank you for joining us today!

Week Nine: July 27, 2016

Announcer Dave Howey from Lakes 99.5 is shown with our Week 9 Turtle Race winners Maggie Klein, Perham (1st place), Guinevere Wagner, Baltimore, MD (2nd place), and Angelique Kiyombo, Rock Valley, IA (3rd place). Thank you for joining us today!

Week Eight: July 20, 2016

Miss Perham 2016, Allison Christenson and Turtle Race Coordinator (and today’s announcer) Rachel Brock are shown with our Week 8 Turtle Race winners John Sullivan, Brookings, SD (2nd place), Lilliahna Klettke, Perham (1st place), and Brody Heiser-Freeland, Perham (3rd place). Thank you for joining us today!

Week Seven: July 14, 2016

Miss Perham 2016, Allison Christenson and announcer Dave Howey from Lakes 99.5 are shown with our Week 7 Turtle Race winners Urijah LaFountain from Perham (3rd place), Flynn Campbell from Deephaven, MN (2nd place), and Jayce Balbach from New York Mills MN (1st place). Thank you for joining us today!

Week Six: July 6, 2016

Miss Perham 2016, Allison Christenson, is shown with our Week 6 Turtle Race winners Sarah Larson from Perham (1st Place), Jemma Shimpa from Maple Grove, MN (2nd Place), and Paxton Brummund from Perham (3rd Place). Thank you for joining us today!

Week Five: June 29, 2016

Announcer Dave Howey from Leighton Enterprises and Miss Perham 2016, Allison Christenson, are shown with our Week 5 Turtle Race winners (left to right) Nora Dorcey from Omaha NE (3rd Place), Jayce Balbach from New York Mills, MN (2nd Place),and Cyrus Parta from Washington DC (1st Place). Thank you for joining us today!

Week Four: June 22, 2016

Announcer Dave Howey from Leighton Enterprises and Miss Perham 2016, Allison Christenson, are shown with our Week 4 Turtle Race winners (left to right); Levi Heidtke from Centerville, VA (2nd Place), Lydia Klettke from Perham, MN (3rd Place), and Kallom Dockter from Menoken, ND (1st Place). Thank you for joining us today!

Week Three: June 15, 2016

Turtle Race Coordinator, Rachel Brock, is shown with our Week 3 Turtle Race winners, Jace Balbach from New York Mills, MN (1st Place), Ethan Mueller from Blaine, MN (2nd Place) and Hailey Jensen from Omaha, NE (3rd Place). A big thank you to all who joined us!

Week Two: June 8, 2016

Announcer Dave Howey is shown with our Week 2 Turtle Race winners, Kailee Pike from Kansas City, MO (1st Place), Anna Lamar from Bismarck, ND (2nd Place) and Nathan Brock from Moorhead, MN (3rd Place). A big thank you to all who joined us!

Week One: June 1, 2016

Announcer Dave Howey is shown with 3rd Place winner, Tyler Shelsta from Murdock, NE, 1st Place winner, Cooper Wicks from Littleton, CO, and 2nd Place, Emma Daniels from Perham, MN. A big thank you to all who joined us for the first (somewhat chilly) Turtle Race of the 2016 season!