KINGSPORT, Tenn (WJHL) – Turtles are not often regarded for their speed, but several turtles got to show off their quickness in Kingsport.
The Kingsport Lions Club hosted their 77th annual Turtle Derby Saturday morning.
The tradition started after World War II to raise money to buy children eyeglasses.
12 turtles race at a time until the fastest turtle is crowned champion.
Each turtle has a sponsor, which usually chooses a funny name for them.
Long-time Kingsport Lions Club member Bill Murdoch said the event is a great time every year for families as there are prizes for everyone, plus kids love to cheer on their favorite turtle.
“Some turtles are like rocks,” Murdoch said. “They just sit and do nothing. Other turtles are quick and go straight to the end. The crowd has a great time cheering on the turtles, although it’s not clear whether the crowd cheering near the finish line speeds the turtles up or slows the turtles down.”
The event raised money for the Kingsport Lions Club, which it uses for causes like providing eyewear access and diabetes care in the community.