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09th Sep 2019

The Ballydehob Turnip Race Is Making Headlines Across The Waters In America

Sarah Finnan

Anyone who thinks an onion is the only vegetable that can make you cry has probably never taken part in the Ballydehob Turnip Races Festival. Yep, it exists, and it sounds savage.

West-Cork is making headlines as of late, appearing on the front page of The Wallstreet Journal. The small coastal village of Ballydehob has been deemed newsworthy by the US publication for its Summer Festival and one event in particular: the World Championship Turnip Races.

The premise of the race is for a man (or woman) and turnip to both cross the finish line. Contestants must throw their turnips on the ground and follow their own one to the end, picking up a different turnip is grounds for disqualification. Straightforward enough, though I highly doubt it’s as easy as it sounds.

Running for a whole week in August, the popular summer festival includes charades competitions, crab fishing, historic walks and live music amongst other things. Needless to say, the Turnip Races are a definite highlight for locals and visitors alike.

The unique event grabbed the attention of the American newspaper’s travel reporter, and with a daily circulation of 2.6million, that’s an impressive pool of potential new entrants. I hope there are enough turnips to go around.

Disclaimer: no turnips were harmed in the running of this event…I hope the same can be said for participants.

Why not have a quick pre-meal race of your own next time cabbage and turnip is on the cards for dinner?

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