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31st Annual Turtle Derby 2017



Friday, June 23rd from 10:00 am to 1:30 pm 


University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital, Front Lawn

To stream the event live, click here.

Activities include: 

Turtle races - Dunk tank - Face-painting- Photo booth - Games with prizes - Minute-To-Win-It - Lollipop tree - Reading corner – Refreshments - Turtle sundaes - Therapy dogs - And more!

What is the Turtle Derby?

For 30 years, the Turtle Derby at University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital has been a popular tradition for patients, families and staff. The summer event takes place on our plaza and is open to the public. Families can cheer on real turtles from the sidelines, play games, indulge in a turtle sundae and much more.  Watch for a link to watch the derby live!

The fundraiser provides many of the extras that make our children's hospital a healing place with a heart. Sponsor one or more turtles and watch your reptile compete for the coveted title: The Grandest Turtle of All, 2017. Registration will be held June 5 - June 16. The cost is $40 for an individual or family; $80 for a work team or department. 


  1. Where is the event, and how many people usually attend?
    The Turtle Derby is held on the front lawn of University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital. View directions here. We expect 1,500 or more people.
  2. Where do I park?
    You can park for an hourly fee in the Yellow or Red ramps. Metered street parking is available in the blocks near our event, though it is limited. View our map.
  3. How much does it cost to attend the turtle derby? 
    The Turtle Derby is free to attend. Parking, food and some activities do have a small cost, but we offer many free activities to make the Turtle Derby a budget-friendly outing. There will also be 2017 Turtle Derby merchandise for purchase, including:
    • T-shirts: adult, youth, and toddler 
    • Performance shirts: adult sizes
    • Turtle backpacks
    • Lanyards
    • Bibs
  4. What happens if my turtle is named “The Grandest Turtle of All?” 
    Aside from endless bragging rights, you will receive fancy plaque honoring your turtle’s achievement and a cake! If you sponsored “The Grandest Turtle of All,” but were unable to attend, we will donate the cake to a patient, and will send you the plaque and some Turtle Derby gifts.
  5. How can I help/volunteer? 
    The Turtle Derby thrives on the kindness and passion of our volunteers, many of whom are enthusiastic hospital staff. If you have a particularly special skill or donation that you feel could enhance our event, please email Sarah Blanchette.
  6. How are the raised funds used? 
    Contact Dawn Stahlmann for a list of selected projects we have funded in the last five years to give you an idea of where your contributions go.
The 2017 Turtle Derby logo was designed by 8-year-old Sophia Nieters, sister to University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital patient Jack. Read more about Sophia.
Register Now for the 2017 Turtle Derby!
Sponsor a turtle by mail or sponsor a turtle online and register.