Turtle Days Parade

Churubusco’s Eagle, a cheerleader, and a painting of Oscar the turtle shared a float during the Turtle Days parade in June 2018.

After the crazy year that COVID-19 brought, forcing the closure of many favorite events, the return of the Turtle Days Festival this year marks an exciting point for the community of Churubusco.

Turtle Days will take place June 16-19. The theme is “Fun in the Sun at 71” marking 71 years of the annual event.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 16, with an opening ceremony, a presentation to a Turtletown Hero and more. Most of the activities will take place in the park.

One of the highlights of the week includes the annual Miss Turtle Days competition (Wednesday) where girls ages 2-14 take part in their respective age groups to earn a crown, sash, trophy and $100 prize. There is no cost to enter. The pageant consists of walking and modeling their dress and answering an on-stage question.

Other highlights are the basketball tournament, turtle races, parade, 5k and sandcastle competition.

The schedule is as follows:

Wednesday, June 16

6 p.m.: Opening Ceremony at the park, Turtletown Hero presentation

6:30 p.m.: Miss Turtle Days (Event Stage)

7:30 p.m.: Princess Ariel Stage Performance

8 p.m.: Meet-n-Greet with Princess Ariel

9 p.m.: Nightly drawing (Tickets at Information Booth)

Thursday, June 17

6 p.m.: Turtletown Hero presentation, announcements (Event Stage) and 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament (High School Parking Lot)

6 p.m.: Mark’s Ark (Event Stage)

8 p.m.: Music by Gary Jones (Event Stage)

9 p.m.: Nightly drawing

Friday, June 18

4:30 p.m. Fish Fry (Fire Station)

6 p.m.: Turtletown Hero presentation (Event Stage) and 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament (High School Parking Lot)

6 p.m.: BINGO (Boy Scout Building)

6:30 p.m.: Turtle Races

7 p.m. Centerlane performs (Event Stage)

8:15 p.m.: Zen BBQ performs (Event Stage)

9 p.m.: Nightly drawing

Saturday, June 19

7 a.m.: Pancake and sausage breakfast (VFW Hall)

8 a.m.: Turtle Days 5k (Registration at Parking Lot of School)

8 a.m.: Chalk Walk (46 Graphics Parking Lot)

10 a.m.: Music by Alyssa Enright (Parade Judges Stage)

11 a.m.: Parade

1 p.m.: Kids Day (Park Diamond #2)

2 p.m.: Sandcastle Competition (Park Volleyball Court) and Finals for 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament (Park Basketball Court)

5 p.m.: Turtletown Hero presentation

6 p.m.: Oscar’s Beach Party (Event Stage)

10 p.m.: Laser Light Show (Event Stage)

Turtle Days celebrates the Turtletown nickname embraced by the Town of Churubusco. The legend of the “Beast of Busco” has its roots in 1898 when a local farmer Oscar Fulk said he had seen a very large turtle on his farm. Fifty years later local fisherman reported seeing a giant turtle in Gale Harris’ lake. Soon after Harris reported seeing the turtle as well. Many people didn’t believe the tale, which spurred Harris to actively seek out the turtle, which by then had been nicknamed “Oscar.” The story gained worldwide attention, attracting visitors to the town to try and get their own glimpse of this amazing turtle. Many attempts to catch the turtle were unsuccessful. The legend lives on throughout the town and is celebrated each year.

For more information, visit turtledaysdotcom.wordpress.com or visit the Turtle Days Festival Facebook page.

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