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Southeast Texans celebrate St. Patrick's Day in unique way with turtle races

For the past 10 years, Madison’s has put on this event, which includes everyone's favorite part.

BEAUMONT, Texas — From alligators to turtles, Southeast Texas celebrates St. Patrick's Day a little differently.

At Gator Country, you'll have to meet Mr. Cuddles if you don't wear green. At Madison's, there were turtle races. It was one of many events happening across the region.

To celebrate the day when we're all a little Irish, there's a full crowd, and $20 crawfish is back for Madison’s St. Patrick's Day celebration.

For the past 10 years, Madison’s has put on this event which includes everyone's favorite part, the turtle races.

Northeast states in the US go big for St. Patrick's Day.

“It's a little bit bigger, St. Patrick's Day, it's like all day,” said Beaumont resident Rachael Whitehead.

Whitehead is originally from Ohio and is celebrating her second St Patrick's Day at Madison's.

“I've always really loved going out for St. Patrick's Day and celebrating,” Whitehead said.

So, you may not think it's a big deal here in Southeast Texas, but for businesses, “St. Patrick's Day is one of the biggest days for us at Madison’s and Rick and Jack's,” said the owner of Madison’s Frankie Randazzo.

And like every traditional holiday, Southeast Texas has traditions of our own.

“I want to go do the turtle races cause they're fun,” Whitehead said.

“The turtles are a lot faster than people realize, and we bring in trained racing turtles from Austin and then we bring them out here and put them in a ring,” Randazzo said.

The first turtle to win three races by touching the white line wins. Six contestants competed on Thursday.

Our very own Ashly Elam was on the play-by-play.

People got to test their luck to bring in the gold

“We won $25 to spend here,” Whitehead said.

“The best part about it is watching grown adults yell at turtles because they want their turtle to win,” Randazzo said.

Don't worry if you missed the turtle action Thursday night. Madison’s is hosting another race for Cinco de mayo.

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