All American Porcupine Races!

Council, Idaho hosts porcupine races every fourth of July!  Folks come from all over to see the parade that features the animals. Vendors set up shop in the city park selling everything from aprons to walking sticks. You can eat giant corn dogs or have some local barbeque. You can even compete in a sawing contest! If none of these events interest you head to the quilt show at the elementary school.

Don’t miss the parade that starts around 11 o’clock. It will be your first opportunity to see the porcupines.  Vintage cars, horses with glitter, Boy Scouts, Law Enforcement, and logging equipment are also featured.  Immediately after the parade the porcupines and their human teams make an appearance! The animals are auctioned off to the highest bidder. Funds raised are divided between the winning team and the person who purchased the team’s porcupine and the chamber of commerce for next year’s fireworks. Some of the teams/animals brought a whopping $500 at auction After all the porcupines have been bought the races commence!


porcupine cage

Unpredictable! That’s the best word to describe porcupine racing. The accepted race technique seems to be housing your porcupine in a large trash can until the starting signal. At which point you dump out the porcupine and herd him or maybe her with the trash can and a common household broom! I believe it is against the rules to hit or harm the animal in any way. The trash can, and broom are used to suggest the way to go! Some race participants merely stuck their noses under the trash can and “hid”.  While others darted frantically all over the racecourse in every direction except the right direction! Finally, a winner emerged miraculously making it across the finish line. The spectators went wild! Well they clapped and hollered some.


You gotta love small town USA. I heard the National Anthem twice. At the beginning of the parade and again at the start of the races. Everyone was very respectful with hats off and hands over hearts. All who were able to stand, stood proudly. Flags lined the Main Street and adorned businesses, churches and schools.

There has been lots of talk about making America great again. It sure felt great to be an American in that small unassuming patriotic town. It was a day to celebrate not only for our country but also a day to celebrate each other. The things we have in common, our love of family and friends, and the freedoms we hold dear.

Written by Susan

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