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Turtle Racing (Dave S.)

Big Joe's is a small, unpretentious bar that is famous for cheap beer, friendly people and turtle races…yes, I said TURTLE RACES! Here's how the racing works: Get there by 9 PM. Races start at 10ish and it gets crowded around 9 PM. Each time you buy a drink, you get a ticket which gives you a chance to be a “jockey”. There is a new race about every 30 minutes. An announcer, in a strange turtle cap, calls out ticket numbers on a microphone. If your ticket matches, you yell out you won and then run to the race table like you just won the lottery, screaming and waving your ticket (remember you have been drinking). You then pick a numbered ping pong ball out of a bucket to see which turtle you will be "jockeying" (cheering for like nuts). The six turtles (with numbers taped on their backs) are placed in the center of the racing table which has a big circle painted on it. The first turtle to make it to the outer edge of the circle wins! If you can’t get a table close to the action, don’t worry. The race is shown on the TV screens around the bar. A trumpet anounces the turtles are at the starting line. Aaaaaand, they're offffffff! The turtles are off and running, OK more like plodding, toward the finish line. Everyone starts yelling like it's the Kentucky Derby! (Seriously! Remember all the cheap beer?) If your turtle wins, you get a t-shirt and a "jockey" spot in the final race of the night. If your turtle comes in last, you win a free drink. I know it sounds stupid, but it is hilarious and you have to be there to believe it. If you are offended by foul launguage, don't come. The announcer (remember the guy with the stupid turtle cap?) swears a lot while announcing as in "Yolanda is the slowest f***ing turtle in the world". Parking: there is plenty of free parking on the street. Name tags: Because this is not a private event, there will be no nametags. We will be in the upper area and have an orange helium balloon on a table and orange dots on our shirts. See you at the races! Dave S.

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  • A former member
    A former member

    Turns out that the Chicago Magazine that came out last week did a piece on this bar and Friday night turtle racing. We will try this again in a couple of months when the crowd thins out.

    January 30, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great idea to go out! Lots of people!

    January 30, 2010

  • A former member
    A former member

    Turtle Racing was hilarious! Thank you to Dave for organizing a fun and unique Meetup!

    January 30, 2010

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