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  • Writer's pictureCamp Nisswa

Nisswa Turtle Races: A beloved summer tradition for all ages

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

Nisswa Turtle Races Official Track

🐢 The Nisswa Turtle Races (Home Of The Turtle Races) have been a beloved summer tradition for locals and visitors in the Nisswa and Brainerd Minnesota Lakes Area since 1963. This fun-filled event brings hundreds of people, young and old, to downtown Nisswa every Wednesday from early June to mid-August. Our family has been attending the races for years, and we always look forward to sharing this experience with our loved ones. Check out some of our action shots from previous races over the years!

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Turtle Races in Nisswa, with the first race on June 7th and the last one on August 16th. The races take place in a parking lot just off Main Street, and registration starts at 1:00 pm, with the races beginning at 2:00 pm.

Here's how the races work: on race day, the staff wets the race track to get it ready for the turtles. Once your number is called, head to the inner race circle with your turtle. When the races begin, release your turtle and cheer it on as it races towards the finish line. To encourage your turtle to move faster towards the outer ring of the race track, splash some water from your turtle bucket. The staff members will blow their whistle once a turtle crosses the finish line.

The cost to participate in the races is $5.00 per racer, and you'll receive an official racing button and the use of a turtle. However, you're not allowed to bring your own turtle due to the rules.

Be prepared to spend a couple of hours at the races since there can be multiple heats and many racers. If it's a beautiful day, the races and town can get busy, but don't worry – there are plenty of places to grab a coffee, snack, or even a meal. Here are some spots to check out:

Treats, Chocolates, or Ice Cream: Dairy Queen, Nisswa Mini Donuts, Northern Gifts & Sweets, Glen's Ice Cream Parlor, The Chocolate Ox

In conclusion, the Nisswa Turtle Races are a must-see summer tradition in the Nisswa and Brainerd Lakes Area. Whether you're a local or a visitor, this family-friendly activity is a fun way to spend an afternoon. So come on down and join in on the fun! Information & Location: Where? - The Official Nisswa Turtle Track behind the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce building When? - Wednesdays June 7th - August 16th

Parking? - Free parking

Contact - Nisswa Chamber of Commerce |


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