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Frequently Asked Questions

Learn about our cause and how the turtle race works.
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Adopt a Turtle Now!

How do my turtles get in the water?

Let’s Tag! A few days prior to the turtle race, volunteers will place numbered tags on the bottom of every turtle that will be in the Turtle Derby - which is 4,000! The tags are waterproof labels beginning with a 7 digit number and ending with a 7 digit number.

For Example:

How does it work?

Everyone who adopts a turtle, whether online, in the mail, at a Turtle Derby booth or in a sponsoring business is entered into a database that stores all of the information. Next to your name is the number of turtles you have adopted. The tag range is entered and all the numbers are shuffled up. You are automatically assigned the number of turtles you have adopted next to Tag Numbers. Thus, if you adopted 6 turtles, your name will be placed next to 6 different Tag Numbers.

What if you have 2,000 Adopted Turtles but you have 4,000 Tagged Turtles?

If all our turtles have not been adopted by race day, it means that a lucky adopter can still adopt up to an hour prior to the race. Their names will be placed at random into the mix, next to a number that does not already have a name by it. Anyone can adopt until an hour before the race begins, as long as the Turtle Race is not sold out.

What time is the York Turtle Derby?

All kinds of family fun will start at 10:00 a.m. at 205 West Market Street with the Yorkfest Fine Arts Festival. Hundreds of local artists and vendors will be selling their goods and wares. At 2 p.m., we will begin the race over the Codorus Creek, 227 West Market Street. The first 3 turtles through the finish line win the prizes!

How will I know if my turtle wins?

Big Brothers Big Sisters of York & Adams Counties will contact you using the information you provided with your turtle adoption. You do not need to be present to win.

Are they real turtles or rubber turtles?

Rubber turtles, silly!

Once I adopt a turtle, do I get to keep it?

No. After you adopt your turtle, Big Brothers Big Sisters of York & Adams Counties will work hard to train, coach, and make sure each one is ready for race day. After the race, all of the turtles will be transported to their next race somewhere in the US.

Do I need to be present to win?

No, the winner does not need to be present to win. We do hope you will join us for the festivities though!

Is there an admission fee for the York Turtle Derby?

No, the race is open to the public and will take place at Market Street Bridge near our office at 227 West Market Street in York.

Can I adopt turtles on race day?

If all of our 4,000 turtles have not been adopted before race day, the remaining turtles will be available for adoption Sunday until one hour prior to the start of the race at a booth set up at the West Market Street Bridge.

Who does the event benefit?

All proceeds from the York Turtle Derby benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of York & Adams Counties, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. Big Brothers Big Sisters of York & Adams Counties’ mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-on-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.

For more information about our organization, visit our website or Facebook page.