TNB Night Owl – Great American Bug Race

Forest roach, photo by Pasha Kirillov

Races are a part of sporting life. Foot races, vehicular races, horse races, dog races… in Texas there are even armadillo races (be careful not to get leprosy). There aren’t many insect races, though. The Great American Bug Race at Palm Beach Atlantic University has been hosting the most prominent one for more than 35 years.

The Christian college is hosting the next race on November 6, which gives prospective contestants just enough time to register with the college if they really, truly, desperately want to cheer on a roach as it scuttles across a track with other roaches. (In addition to students, faculty, staff, alumni and their family members may also enter.) Each insect has one sponsor, with the creatures donated by the school Science Club.

It’s a fundraiser. The roach who wins all its heats wins its owner $100, and every person must pony up a $1 registration fee before renting their chosen insects at a rate of fifty cents each.

The insects are cheap for two reasons. First… they’re large roaches in Florida, where they’re disturbingly easy to find. Second… they run. Fast. Many of the racers hustle off of the track only to be lost amidst the crowd, leaving their patrons to plunk down four bits for another racer.

Those who are averse to having a roach crawl on them as it tries to scuttle away from a clear dish might be well advised to give this sporting event a pass.

Question of the night: What’s a good fundraising event anecdote?

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.