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67th Turtle Derby, Lions Club fundraiser, set for Saturday at J. Fred

May 16th, 2013 7:33 pm by REBEKAH WILSON

67th Turtle Derby, Lions Club fundraiser, set for Saturday at  J. Fred

Officials ready for last year's Lions Club Turtle Derby at J. Fred Johnson Stadium in Kingsport. (Contributed photo)

KINGSPORT — The Lions Club will hold the 67th annual Turtle Derby on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon on the baseball field at J. Fred Johnson Stadium on Fort Henry Drive.

The derby, the oldest fundraiser for a civic club in Kingsport, is an exciting and fast-paced event with many prizes and winners.

Upon entry to the stadium, each person receives a lane number. Each time a turtle in that lane wins a race, those holding that lane number win 50 cents.

Prizes, including dining gift cards, free pizzas and sunglasses, will be awarded between races.

A girls and a boys bicycle will be given away in a drawing at the end of the derby.

Twelve lanes are set up at home plate for turtles to race 16 feet to the finish line. Lions Club member Bill Moore said there are typically about 20 races.

Turtles race toward the fans in the stadium, which Moore said usually lasts between 30 seconds and a minute and a half per race.

The 12 fastest turtles compete in the final event: the Derby.

The Derby winner receives $1.

The event is free to attend, and turtle sponsorship is $50.

Both businesses and individuals sponsor and name turtles for the races, but the date has passed to sponsor a turtle.

“It is a fun-filled family event, and it supports the Lions’ efforts to provide screenings and eyeglasses in the greater Kingsport and Sullivan County area,” Moore said.

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