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Longville earns title as 'Turtle Race Capital of the World'

Longville truly is the “Turtle Race Capital of the World,” hosting competitors from as far away as France on July 10. After an afternoon of heated competition, hometown boy Brendan Harris, 13, of Longville, bested 320 other racers to take home Grand Champion honors. The Grand Slowpoke title went to Davis Pruisman, also 13, of Clear Lake, Iowa.

The Chamber Resort Race, the first race of the day, was won by Danielle Nelson, 6, of Burnsville, Minn., representing Timber Trails Resort.

The Longville Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce would like to recognize the volunteers who make this event possible. Race judges were Pat Boen of RE/MAX Lakes Area Realty, Cathy Stagnaro, Marisa and Ryan Skajewski and Candice Zaczkowski.

Dodee Colberg and Rose Franta registered racers, while Terri Felegy and Rosalie Letson sold tickets and souvenirs. Ed Lammers of Lakeland Promotions and Pat Bothast managed the prize table.

Game operators included Mary Ann Straley, Elsie Hagen, Gordy Atzen, Chuck Colberg, Mary Jo Shurtleff, Kathy Sweeney of Woodland Insurance, Dennis Zuelke of Salem Lutheran Church and volunteers from Luther Dell Bible Camp.

Nancy Loren of Little Boy Resort registered racers for the Chamber Resort Race. Katie Daudt made and sold fresh popcorn, donating a portion of the proceeds to World Vision.

Setup and tear down were handled by Jake Woodworth and his team from Camp Olson YMCA, along with Don Shurtleff, Dennis Zaske, Tom Carpenter, Tom Hasser, John Olsen, Bob Saalborn and Tom Kutschied of VFW Post 772. Street managers were Dave Wodrich and Stan Johnson.

Kam Kammueller of Longville Inn was the announcer, assisted by Tom Lund of VFW Post 772 and Steve Shalbetter.

Turtle races will be held every Wednesday through Aug. 21 in downtown Longville. Race registration and the contests and games open at 1 p.m. The Chamber Resort Race is held at 2 p.m., followed by the regular turtle races. Painted turtles can be rented for $3 or you can bring your own.

More photos are available on the Longville Chamber’s website,, and Facebook page. Proceeds from the turtle races benefit community activities sponsored by the Longville Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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