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Joel Arnold

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Blogs by Joel Arnold

Racing Minnesota-style!
12/28/2011 9:16:16 AM

Sure, Minnesota has horse racing at Canterbury Park in Shakopee. But horse racing seems rather bland – just the same-old, same-old – compared to some of Minnesota’s other offerings.

If you’re not doing anything between September 7 & 9, 2012, why not head over to the small town of Minneota for Boxelder Bug Days, where not only do they have Boxelder Bug Races, but also an Xtreme Golf Ball Roll, a Rubber Duck Race, and a Tug the Bug event. What is “Tug the Bug”? I’m not really sure I want to know.

Sometime in June you can head over to Cuyuna, MN’s Woodtick Inn to participate in their Wood Tick Races. But no cheating; a “wood tick vet” will be on hand to check for juicing!

On Tuesdays during the summer, Pelican Rapids holds Minnow Races. I’m not sure what the prizes are, but I’m guessing they allow pari-mutuel baiting. (Ba-doom chick!)

Jasper, MN holds Goat Races in August. Or at least they used to. I couldn’t find any updated info on this. Perhaps it ended when George Clooney stopped one of the goats’ hearts with his psychic ability.

Both Luverne and Wayzata, MN hold a variation of Dachshund Racing – Luverne in July during Hot Dog Night, and Wayzata as part of their James J. Hill Days in September.

The most popular form of non-horse animal racing in Minnesota, however, seems to be turtle racing. It’s particularly popular in resort towns during the summer – a way to gather vacationers into a small town business district for some fun, frolic, and cash-parting.

Longville has been designated (by the MN State Legislature, no less) as the ‘Turtle Racing Capital of the World’. My family even attended this event for an article I wrote for American Road Magazine, and it is quite the shindig, with a carnival atmosphere throughout the town’s main street. These are held every Wednesday throughout the summer.

Nisswa, which claims to be the ‘Original’ home of the turtle race, also holds them on Wednesdays throughout the summer. Nisswa is a fun little town near Brainerd, and has a lot of cool little shops up and down its main street, including Turtle Town Books & Gifts (formerly Rainy Day Books.) I used the Nisswa turtle races for a little background in my mystery short story ‘Leave No Wake’ which originally appeared in the Resort to Murder anthology.

Another place to catch Wednesday turtle races (what’s with Wednesdays?) is in Perham – and according to their website, these are ‘International Turtle Races’. I’m not sure if they mean that the turtles are from other countries, or the visitors are.

Battle Lake turns turtle racing on its (well-protected) head by holding their races on Thursdays and Saturdays. I’m guessing this is to capture those turtle racing addicts who can’t get enough of it from the merely once-a-week offerings of the other towns.

The Annual Turtle Derby is held at the Diehl Hall plaza in June at the University of Minnesota to benefit the U of MN Children’s Hospital. This event raises some serious bucks for a good cause, although again – I haven’t found any current info for this, the last being the 2006 article I linked to. Anyway, I’m suddenly jonesing for some turtle soup.

So...if you like your races slow and/or whacky, come on over to Minnesota and place your bets!

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More Blogs by Joel Arnold
• The Sucking Suckathon of Suckiness - Monday, May 21, 2012
• Mississippi Pearls and a Car Biding Its Time on the Ice 'til Spring - Thursday, December 29, 2011
• One Decade, One Story - or how One Thing Leads to Another - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
•  Racing Minnesota-style! - Wednesday, December 28, 2011  

• This Here Minnesota Horror Author was a Big Old Scaredy-Cat - Thursday, December 22, 2011
• Jack the Blob Killer - Monday, December 19, 2011
• Death Rhythm - Tuesday, September 20, 2011
• More Writing What You Know - Monday, September 19, 2011
• How I Interpret 'Write What You Know' - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
• Blessings - or - What I write after having one too many... - Wednesday, August 03, 2011
• 120 Miles in a Canoe - Monday, June 27, 2011
• On Stephen King - Thursday, June 23, 2011
• Why Horror? - Wednesday, June 22, 2011
• Zen & the Art of Swearing - Friday, June 10, 2011
• If Coffee Shops were Run by Airlines - Thursday, May 12, 2011
• Trying to Figure Out What Scares Me - Monday, March 21, 2011
• My Confession - Tuesday, March 08, 2011
• Going Indie with my novel Northwoods Deep - Friday, March 04, 2011
• How I Envision Conflict When Writing - Thursday, March 03, 2011
• Wall Drug - why it's one of my favorite places - Wednesday, February 02, 2011
• Jonesing for a Road Trip - Wednesday, February 02, 2011
• Snowmapocalyptopalooza - Tuesday, February 01, 2011
• How Do You Remember? - Thursday, January 20, 2011
• When your parents are librarians... - Tuesday, January 18, 2011
• The genesis of a novel - the first 6 days - Tuesday, January 04, 2011
• Searching for Truth - Characterization - Thursday, December 16, 2010
• Control - and a little more about Northwoods Deep - Monday, December 13, 2010
• Bukowski - Wednesday, December 08, 2010
• Flies, Flies, Spam, and Flies - Friday, December 03, 2010
• Naivete and the Young Writer - Thursday, December 02, 2010
• For Writers looking for some Adventure - Wednesday, December 01, 2010
• My usual rider for family/friend appearances - Tuesday, November 23, 2010
• Writing and Me - a dramatization - Wednesday, November 17, 2010
• Writing Tip o' the Day (now with vitamin C!) - Tuesday, November 16, 2010
• The Power of Music - Tuesday, November 16, 2010
• To All the Bookstores I've Loved Before - Monday, November 15, 2010
• The Care and Feeding of Writers - Sunday, November 14, 2010
• Rudiments - Thursday, November 11, 2010
• Writing Tip o' the Day - Wednesday, November 10, 2010
• Tragedy - now with 50% more pathos! - Tuesday, November 09, 2010
• Perspective - Monday, November 08, 2010
• The Daunting Dauntiness of Tweeting on Twitter - Saturday, November 06, 2010

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