By Elizabeth Varville, Correspondent
The previous day’s rainfall did not hinder The 9th Annual Belton Kiwanis Turtle Festival held April 30 in Belton’s Yettie Polk Park.
Turtle lovers of all ages gathered together to enjoy the many free activities including mechanical bull rides, bounce houses, petting zoo, face painting, and barrel train rides. Grand Avenue Theaters, Schlotzsky’s, First State Bank, Belton Christian Youth Center, Wings, Pizza and Things, Belton Feed & Supply, Forest Trail Dental Care, and our very own Belton Journal sponsored the free events. Approximately 50 vendors were in attendance to provide information on anything ranging from The Girl Scouts of Central Texas to First Response Medical Training. Once again, The Friends of Lena Armstrong Library of Belton supplied each child with their very own book for those lazy uneventful summer days while Ice Ice Baby Sno Cones provided much relief from the hot afternoon temperatures with yummy multi-flavored snow cones.
According to turtlefestival.com, the festival is a fundraiser to help fund service, leadership, and scholarship opportunities for children. Founded by the Kiwanis Club of Belton, the Turtle Festival is an event aimed at turning public attention to certain local children’s non-profit organizations. The festival provides fun and educational activities for both parents and children in a positive and casual environment according to everfest.com.
The festival’s main attraction, The Real Live Turtle Race, showcased pet turtles of all sizes racing to the finish line. Spectators cheered on their favorite turtle to glorious victory. The top three winning turtle’s owners received prizes with the grand prize being $50.
The highlight of the festival was the photo session opportunities with Cowabunga Factory’s Michelangelo. The Ninja Turtles tour with Vanilla Ice and are featured in Partners in Kryme’s “Rock the Halfshell” music video.
Unfortunately, the recent rainfall forced the Ultimate Turtle Race where 2000 rubber turtles race down Nolan Creek to be cancelled.
According to kiwanisone.org, Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. The Kiwanis Club of Belton is dedicated to serving the local community through various service and fundraising projects. The club has been in service to the community for more than 26 years.
For more information on the Turtle Festival and Belton Kiwanis, please visit www.BeltonKiwanis.org.