Conceived as an original idea to spoof the Kentucky Derby and acknowledge the impact of the horse industry in Aiken, the inaugural Lobster race was held in Aiken in 1984. The event began as a small get together of local friends and has continually grown into a large festival and Aiken’s biggest reunion. The Lobster race has been dubbed the biggest reunion in Aiken. Current Aikenites and those who have moved away return to enjoy the Lobster Race and renew old friendships. The event is always held the first Friday in May, the day before the Kentucky Derby, at the Newberry Street Festival Center in downtown Aiken. A family friendly atmosphere is created with the unique lobster track and the headlining band’s stage as the center of attention. Other attractions include a child’s ride area, food vendors and local bands that compliment the festival ambiance. The Lobster Race Committee is committed to utilizing the resources within our community to support the event by using civic organizations and clubs to provide manpower. Over the 27 year history of the Lobster Race, organizers have donated the proceeds of the races to the mentally and physically disabled in the area including the Aiken County Special Olympics, The Tri- Development Center and Hitchcock Healthcare.