Perryville Snappin’ Chaplin Turtle Derby returns after two-year hiatus

Published 2:53 pm Friday, July 22, 2022


The Snappin’ Chaplin Turtle Derby is returning to Perryville after the pandemic hiatus in 2020 and 2021. This year’s event is July 30; the day starts at 10 a.m. and the turtle race is at 7 p.m.

Advocate-Messenger file photo of the last Turtle Derby in 2019

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This year in addition to the classic turtle race, the event will have a large kids’ corner with inflatables, a petting zoo, and kids’ games at Dr. Polk’s on Merchants’ Row on Buell Street.

There will be live music by Classic Rewind, The Moron Brothers, and DJ Tyler Isaacs. There will also be a Life of a Soldier event, led by the Battlefield

State Historic Site, and a Jeep show, which is new this year, with prizes for three categories.

Director of Main Street Perryville Aly Huff said they are expecting around 2,500 people for the event.

“I’m looking forward to seeing Perryville come alive,” Huff said. “This is a fun event that children young and the young at heart can enjoy. Through the pandemic, Perryville has lacked downtown events, and I’m excited to see our downtown bursting with excitement again.”

All turtles for the Snappin’ Chaplin Turtle Derby will be launched into the Chaplin River at 7 p.m. The race course will be established by Main Street Perryville.

People can ‘adopt’ turtles on the race website, https://www.duckrace.

com/perryville. A single turtle is $5 and a turtle six pack is $25.

As of now, 407 turtles of their 2,000 turtle goal have been adopted for the race.

People can also create teams on the website with a certain number of turtles. Chances of winning depend on the total number of qualified entries.

A number will be attached to each turtle that corresponds to the number on its adoption paper.

The Grand Prize will be $1,000, second place will be $600, and third place will be $400. All local, state and federal taxes are the sole responsibility of the winner.

The Turtle Derby started in 2016 and is Perryville’s biggest fundraiser.

All funds raised go to Main Street Perryville for investments in the city.

This year’s funds will go specifically into Dr. Polk’s house, which Huff said needs some foundation and electrical work.

“Our goal was to bring in more than we’ve ever made before, and we are on track to do so,” Huff said. “Hopefully, this event will help us get a great start in preserving and restoring an iconic piece of our Historic Merchants Row.”

Huff said this year, they had originally changed the race to be a duck race, but changed it back to turtles. The event is free, but kids can purchase an all-day bracelet for the kids activities for $10 plus six tickets for games.

Among other things at the event, attendees can visit the monarch butterfly garden and see inside the city’s next restoration project.

Food Vendors will include Perryville Lions Club, Second Hand Smoke BBQ, Snowie, B Jacks Seafood, Stephanie Gilpin, Southern Style Kettle Corn, Boyle County Band, Little Donut Trailer, Kenda Tompkins, and Tacos El Diamonte.

Marketplace Vendors will include The Flower Friends, Friends of Perryville, Perryville Battlefield State Historic Site, Boyle County Library Bookmobile, Farmers’ Market, and Pikeville to Paducah.