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 10:00am and the races start at 10:30am. 
  • 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 Two (Turtle Fest Race): June 16, 2017

Congratulations to our Week 2 (Turtle Fest Race) winners; Kaia Deckard from St. Paul, MN (3rd place), Phoenix Thiel from Ottertail, MN (1st place), and Sunny Green from Woodbury, MN, (2nd place). Thank you for joining us today!


Week Two: June 14, 2017

Announcer Dave Howey from Lakes 99.5 is shown with our Week 2 Turtle Race winners; Ben Heshner, from Kennard, NE (3rd place), Kaia Deckard from St. Paul, MN (2nd place), and Ava Winjum from Perham, MN (1st place). Thank you for joining us today!

Week One: June 7, 2017

Miss Perham Sarah Labine and Announcer Dave Howey from Lakes 99.5 are shown with our Week 1 Turtle Race winners; Angela Truitt from Cedar Rapids, IA (3rd place), Ian Brudelie from New Ulm, MN (2nd place), and Dustin McDonough from Detroit Lakes (1st place). Thank you for joining us today!