On the last day of the month, July 31, downtown Longville hosted 471 turtle racers to close out the month on a high note. The racetrack was fast, the weather was perfect and at the end of the day Danielle Stout, 15, of Sigourney, Iowa, took home grand champion honors.
The grand slowpoke title went to Jarrod Corby, 9, of Orangevale, California, and the chamber resort race was won by Hailey Frost, 9, of North Liberty, Iowa, representing Thunder Lake Lodge.
The Longville Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce would like to recognize the volunteers who make this event possible. Race judges were Pat Boen and Sean McDonald of RE/MAX Lakes Area Realty.
Dodee Colberg and Rose Franta registered racers, while Sara Felton and Peg Atzen sold tickets and souvenirs. Ed Lammers of Lakeland Promotions and Terri Felegy managed the prize table.
Game operators included Elsie Hagen, Lucinda Kline and grandson Parker, Sherry Fields, Chuck Colberg, Mary Jo Shurtleff, Dennis Zuelke of Salem Lutheran Church, Jim Garner of Birdies Mini-Golf and Water Wars, Kathy Sweeney of Woodland Insurance, Lisa Garbe of Northlake Marine and Auto and volunteers from Luther Dell Bible Camp.
Nancy Loren of Little Boy Resort registered racers for the Chamber Resort Race. Katie Daudt made and sold fresh popcorn, donating a portion of the proceeds to World Vision. Two Traders provided the water for the turtles and cooling the racing circle.
Setup and tear down were handled by Jake Woodworth and his team from Camp Olson YMCA, along with Don Shurtleff, Dennis Zaske, John Olsen, Bob Saalborn and Tom Kutschied of VFW Post 772. Street managers were Dave Wodrich and Stan Johnson.
Jake Spartz was the official turtle race announcer, assisted by Tom Lund of VFW Post 772.
Turtle races will be held every Wednesday through Aug. 21 in downtown Longville. Race registration and the contests and games open at 1 p.m. The Chamber Resort Race is held at 2 p.m., followed by the regular turtle races. Painted turtles can be rented for $3 or you can bring your own.