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Eatery plays host to turtle contest
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Forsyth County News
In the world of professional and college sports, just a handful of teams have won four straight championships.

Come Saturday, however, the duo of Kade Martin and his turtle “Stewart” will go for their fourth straight turtle race title in the parking lot of the Foster House.

“As long as we’ve been doing it, that’s the longest running champion we’ve ever had,” said Amanda Davis, who resurrected the free event about eight years ago at her Cumming restaurant.

Along with the fireworks and Thomas-Mashburn Steam Engine Parade, the annual turtle race is a storied part of Cumming’s Independence Day weekend activities.

Davis recalled how she entered the race every year with her brother when they were growing up. One year, she finished in second place.  

After the race, which used to be held at Forsyth County Bank, went on a hiatus, it was only natural that Davis started it back up at her eatery.

“It wouldn’t be complete without the turtle race,” Davis said.  “I think it’s a wonderful part of our city’s history.”

Last year’s competition featured 25 turtles.

During the event, turtle owners stand in the middle of a 20-foot wide circle and release their shelled critters. The first turtle to exit the circle wins.

The owner of the turtle that finishes first will receive $50, while the second- and third-place finishers will earn their owners $25 and $20, respectively.

While the apparent dynasty of Martin and Stewart may worry potential entrants, Davis believes luck — not a strict diet or intense training regimen — is the reason the pair have found themselves in first place the past three years.

“I think a lot of it is just luck,” Davis said. “Or a healthy turtle.”

The race begins at 1 p.m. Saturday. Competitors should be there by 12:30 p.m.