On May 6th, 2023, the Rotary Club of Estes Park will float thousands of rubber ducks down the Fall River in a “race” held to raise money for over 60 charitable organizations in the Estes Valley. The event celebrates its 35thanniversary this year.
Organizing the event, which has returned over $3 million to local charities since its inception in 1989, requires the coordinated efforts of 100 volunteers. Among them is the event’s aptly named mascot, Lucky Duck, whose positive energy is contagious. Much to Lucky Duck’s relief, the named sponsor, Claire’s Restaurant & Bar, has promised duck meat will not be on the menu.
Come rain or shine (these duckies are no wimps), the river will run yellow with thousands of bobbing ducks caught by volunteers holding fishing nets at the end of the 2 ½ mile racecourse. Hundreds of prizes are up for grabs: $10,000 to the first duck across the line, $6,000 and $4,000 to the second and third ducks respectively, along with vacation packages, gift certificates, and more good loot.
On race day, the festival kicks off with the Duck Waddle 5k, followed by the grand unleashing of the ducks via a cage suspended above the Fall River. Spectators can gather along the riverbank (yellow duck hats optional) to cheer on the duckies and enjoy live entertainment throughout the day.
Scott Robbins, “little duck” for the 2023 race, invites everyone to purchase ducks for this year’s event via the festival’s official website: epduckrace.org. Ducks can be bought either singularly or in “quack packs” of five with the sixth duck free. No time to hop online before the event? No problem—ducks can also be purchased the morning of the race.