RiverQuarium turtles ride the waves again

The Flint RiverQuarium will host a turtle race Saturday in which one lucky person will win $500.  Turtles can be “adopted” for $5 each; the race begins at 2 p.m.

The Flint RiverQuarium will host a turtle race Saturday in which one lucky person will win $500. Turtles can be “adopted” for $5 each; the race begins at 2 p.m.

ALBANY, Ga. — The Flint RiverQuarium will launch its plastic, sunglass-wearing amphibians this Saturday and someone will go home happy.

While the main event — the 4th annual Flint RiverQuarium Turtle Race — will be held this March, the first of two smaller races is scheduled Saturday at 1 p.m. The race winner will take home $500.

“This is just the first one,” said Wendy Bellacomo, marketing director of the RiverQuarium, “There’s another in February before the big one in March.”

According to Bellacomo, anyone who “adopts” a turtle for the race this Saturday will automatically be entered in both the February and March races. It’s not necessary to be present to win.

The turtles will be released on the fountain steps at the RiverQuarium at 1 p.m., or shortly after, Bellacomo said, and float one by one into a catch tube, where their numbers will be recorded. An independent firm from outside Albany will check the winning number against those of turtles which have been adopted and notify the RiverQuarium by computer.

“We have nothing to do with determining the winner,” Bellacomo said.

Last year’s January event floated 1,000 total turtles, out of which nearly 400 had been adopted. The RiverQuarium guarantees a winner for the race.

There will be a second $500 race on Feb. 4, according to Bellacomo, before the main event in March, which is held as part of the annual Mardi Gras celebration.

“We’ll have a lot of great prizes for the big event, including a grand prize of $3,000, $1,200 in gasoline from Homerun Foods, and a kayak from Huggins Outboard,” Bellacomo said. “There will be activies all through the day.”

Bellacomo said activities will include turtle feedings by RiverQuarium staff, turtle-related games for children and a dive show at the blue hole section of the RiverQuarium at 2 p.m. During the show, volunteer scuba divers will feed some of the larger fish at the attraction.

“The really big fish, like the bass and sturgeon, enjoy the cool water down deep in the hole,” Bellacomo said.

Turtles may be adopted at the RiverQuarium. However, according to Bellacomo, an easier way may be to click on the organization’s website, www.flintriverquarium.com and go to the identifying panel on the right of the home page.

Turtle adoption is $5 per single turtle, but “price drops considerable as more turtles are adopted,” Bellacomo said. Turtle adoptions are available in “Snap Packs” of four, with one free turtle; 10, with three free turtles, or 20, with 6 free turtles.


Amazed2 3 years, 6 months ago

I get worried when the Riverquarioum starts getting itself in the news. Must mean they are going to hit the new mayor up for a couple hundred thousand $$$$. The original business plan projections for this place to stay open and operate on its own was flawed and obviously put together by Incompetent people at ATI or presented in such a way that at least it looked good enough to get $28,000,000 Million in funds to build it and ATI collect its 10-11% developement fee. ATI got approx. $3,000,000 Million Dollars in development fees for the big Fish Tank. After it was built the head or ATI left for greener pastures and now the City of ALbany and Dougerty County have to subsidize it to keep the doors open.


VietVet1 3 years, 6 months ago

"An independent firm from outside Albany will check the winning number against those of turtles which have been adopted and notify the RiverQuarium by computer." LOL too funny - guess you just can't trust the folks in Albany. Ummm wonder what their "fee" is?


Cartman 3 years, 6 months ago

The only reason it is downtown and not at Chehaw, is the ATI ripoff. They couldn't have gotten their cut of the money if it had not been located downtown. Combined with Chehaw's Wild Animal Park, a synergy would have increased the likelihood of success of the Riverquarium venture. The whole concept was ridiculous from the start. Anyone who thought that such an operation could be self-supporting, would have also been a candidate for a brain transplant. But Oh Well! It's only taxpayer money.


Amazed2 3 years, 6 months ago

Well, I am in full agreement with you on the Chehaw thing and that is where is should have been to start with. Makes little sense for it to be where it is except for "Follow the Money". ATI got a hefty development fee I think it was either 10% or 11%. If the facility was built at Chehaw where it belongs then ATI most likely would have not had the CASH COW to harvest. But a flip to that is Chehaw may not have had the political connections to get $28+ Million dollars either. SO in this disfuntional City we built a $28 Million Dollar Fish Tank that cannot self support because of where it is located. But ATI got their CUT and the head of ATI left Albany shortly thereafter. Also to try to duplicate Chehaw they spent another $2-3 Miillion to build the bird aviary downtown as an addition. Again all this could have been handled much better at Chehaw. Rather than trying to compete with Chehaw it could have been managed a lot cheaper if it was part of Chehaw. IT would have complemented Chehaw and could have been marketed a lot better by them Also as you notice due to the lack of fees this place changes directors about every couple years of so. I am sure they get frustrated and load up the moving truck again. Remeber though the Riverquarium was brought to us by the same people that gave us the Blue Arch and the self supporting $$$$ Parking Decks. After a year or two the City found out it was cheaper to just let people park for free since it cost more to hire attendants or sub-contract these positions out. The City, County, Schools Courts and all the City and County started letting their people parf for free anyway. Well just another busted Business Plan. They were projected by ATI to collect enough parking fees to be self supportive. Most people just contiinued to park on the street until they made them Free.


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