The 30th Annual Lobster Race Will Be Held Friday In Aiken - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

The 30th Annual Lobster Race Will Be Held Friday In Aiken

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Aiken Lobster Race logo Aiken Lobster Race logo
Aiken, SC - In a milestone year for the Lobster Race, Atlantic Broadband will be the presenting sponsor of the unique upbeat festival, set to celebrate its 30th anniversary in downtown Aiken on May 2nd.

In a city that has produced Belmont winner Palace Malice and Preakness winner Summer Squall, the Lobster Race was founded in 1985 as an alternative to the Kentucky Derby and a homage to the town’s association with Thoroughbred racing. An area at the heart of downtown Aiken, covering Newberry Street and The Alley, transforms to a fun-packed festival site featuring children’s rides, a community stage for dance and performances, live music on each street and the unique lobster races themselves.

The community event has grown to be a giant reunion for the people of Aiken, drawing crowds of up to 10,000 and held on the day before the Kentucky Derby on the first Friday in May.

“When we started this, we never imagined it becoming an Aiken ‘institution’ – or lasting 30 years,” said Todd Stilp, co-founder and director of the event. “But the town has embraced the spirit of the Lobster Race and people look forward each year to reuniting with old friends in a fun and friendly street party that entertains the entire family.”

“It’s an honor for Atlantic Broadband to sponsor this year’s milestone Lobster Race,” said Atlantic Broadband’s Vice President and General Manager, Sam McGill. “We have always been a part of this wonderful tradition but this year we wanted to do even more.”

The lobsters have their own stage complete with custom-designed ‘racetrack’ consisting of a transparent, tiered tank with five running lanes. Companies and individuals can sponsor, name and race their own lobster. While the track may not have the challenges of Churchill Downs, making sure the conditions are right is paramount. “Racing lobsters takes a very precise operation,” said Chuck Martin, who supervises the tank. “The exact temperature and correct water solution is imperative to a successful race.”

The 30th annual Lobster Race is also sponsored by Miller Lite, Aaron's Sales and Rentals, Aiken Standard, Channel 12 and Beasley Broadcasting. Proceeds from the Lobster Race benefit clients served by Hitchcock Healthcare, Tri-Development Center of Aiken, Aiken County Special Olympics and the Augusta Warrior Project. Gates open at 5 p.m. Entertainment will continue until 11 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for students with a student ID and children under 6 are free. Admission is also free with a 2014 Lobster Race t-shirt available for purchase at Atlantic Broadband, Lionel Limited, Hitchcock Healthcare, Aaron's Sales and Rentals and All-Star Rents.

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