May 02, 2011
of spring in Maryland, the annual Johns Hopkins Turtle Derby takes place
Friday, May 20, 2011. Now in its 80th year, the derby is hosted by Johns Hopkins medical students and benefits the Department of Child Life
and the Perkins Day Care Center in East Baltimore.
The races begin at 12:30 p.m. in the Preclinical Teaching Building
courtyard on the Johns Hopkins medical campus in East Baltimore. For a small fee, anyone can name a turtle and enter it to win a cash
prize. Entry forms, pins and derby t-shirts will be on sale in Hopkins Children’s lobby May 5 through May 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
This year’s logo, “To Infinity and
Beyond,” was designed by Jody
Chapman, a graduate student in the Department of
Art as Applied to Medicine at Johns Hopkins.
A traditional prelude to the Preakness
in Baltimore, the turtle derby's origins are traced back to Benjamin Frisby, a
hospital caretaker and doorman who kept a small turtle pen outside the original
hospital administration building. Soon, a racetrack was built and wagers
were made, all in the name of building community among the medical residents.
Every spring since 1931, turtles have
ambled out from a starting gate and crawled to victory across a grassy
patch or, for a number a years, a tennis court on campus. Imports from U.S.
turtle farms, to which they are subsequently returned, turtles "race"
to the cheering of neighborhood children, Hopkins faculty, staff, patients and
their families. Johns Hopkins Medical School students in jockey silks egg
on the contestants and audience alike.
For more information, contact the Department of Child Life, 410-955-6276
Learn more about the Johns Hopkins Turtle Derby