Perryville’s Turtle Derby set for July 22

Published 9:46 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023


Perryville’s annual Snappin’ Chaplin Turtle Derby is set for Saturday, July 22, and may be bigger than ever.

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The day begins at 11 a.m. with booths and food trucks along the Chaplin River on Smith Street. The turtles begin their race at 7 p.m.

Main Street Perryville Director Aly Huff said their goal is to sell 3,000 turtles this year, which is 1,000 more than last year.  “The event was a great success last year,” Huff said. “We sold out our 2,000 turtles with hours still left in the day before the race.”

The event will have a wide variety of food and retail vendors, live music in Baril Park, horse and carriage rides, the second annual Jeep Show, Ghost Walk, a kids corner, and free inflatables for kids. Some new activities include axe-throwing, putt-putt golf, and a dunking booth.

Huff said they are expecting over 3,000 people at the event. Last year they raised over $20,000, and this year they hope to raise $25,000.

The funding will go toward restoring Dr. J.J. Polk’s home, which is a historic building on Merchants Row, along with other restoration projects on Merchants Row. Huff said with the funds raised last year, they were able to replace windows; fix, replace, and paint siding; and remove invasive and damaging plants growing on the Polk house.

People can ‘adopt’ rubber turtles to race in the Turtle Derby on the race website, A number will be attached to each turtle that matches the number on its adoption paper.

The person whose turtle wins first place will receive $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.

A single turtle is $5 and a turtle six pack is $25. People can also create teams on the website with a certain number of turtles. As of now, 321 turtles of their 3,000 turtle goal have been adopted.

“I love seeing our beautiful, historic downtown full of people, watching people come downtown and spend their entire day enjoying all the festivities,” Huff said. “The Turtle Derby allows us to spend time with others in our community all while raising awareness and funds to help preserve our downtown.”

The Turtle Derby started in 2016 and is Perryville’s biggest fundraiser. Food and marketplace vendors for this year’s event are listed below.

Food Vendors

• American Blackbird LLC

• Boyle Co. Middle School FFA

• HogTown BBQ

• Perryville Lions Club

• Poppin’ J’s

• Second Hand Smoke BBQ

• Snowie

• Snack Shack

• Southern Style Mini Donuts

• Tikiz of Lexington

• Toot’s Treats

• Wake & Bake

Marketplace Vendors

• A’s Sand Art

• Arbonne – Nadia Shipley

• Ashley’s Gifts & More

• Battlefield State Park

• Bougie Grannie’s Creations

• Dandelion Novelties

• Danville/Boyle Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

• Glittering Glamour

• Leaf Guard

• Pikeville to Paducah

• The Flower Friends

• Sue’s Sublimation & Creations

• This Little Light of Mine Candles

• Touchstone Crystal

• Trail Treasure Designs

• Treehouse Toons

• Trinkets by Jules

• Trish Marie’s Wellhouse LLC