Can’t get enough goldfish racing

by nathan oster

What started 10 years ago as a “Mardi Gras-type party” has grown and evolved into one of the most anticipated events of the spring in Greybull under the direction of Kevin and Brenda Peterson and their legions of cooks and support people.

More than 150 people filed into the Greybull Elks Lodge on Saturday night, drawn by the lure of fresh shrimp and crawdads and another round of “championship goldfish races” featuring racers with names like “Jamaican Me Crazy,” “Fish-N-Chicks,” and “Knotty Tonight.”

The event began at 6 p.m. and stretched late into the night.

Brenda Peterson estimates that 148 people were fed and that another 15 to 20 paid to watch the racing, which drew to a conclusion when Ryan Howe and his fish, “Oliver Clothesoff,” crossed the finish line ahead of a fish directed by Kelle Saldana (who in addition to being a racer doubled as the “attending fish physician,” thanks to her connection to Saam Vet Clinic.

Peterson credited her team of cooks, which included Ryan Howe, Lonney Howe, Jake Craft, Dallas Cervantes and Nate Lowe, for churning out 80 pounds of shrimp and 45 pounds of crawdads (flown in live from Louisiana). The trio of Janelle Craft, Theresa Howe and Skye Cervantes prepped all the rest of the food and made sure things ran smoothly along the serving line.

While this year’s turnout was down slightly, Peterson said it was still an undisputed success, adding that the primary beneficiary of the money raised this year will be the Greybull Elks Lodge’s scholarship fund.