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.