KRV Exchange Club
If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, you can pretty much bet it’s a duck. In fact, the valley is once again experiencing a duck invasion as 1,000 rubber ducks vigorously train for the upcoming 32nd annual Rubber Ducky Races on Saturday, August 24.
For the past few weeks, the little quackers have been training and renewing the feel of their little webbed feet paddling the river for the event; they tend to get a little out of shape lounging around during off season. The training has been very rigorous again this year with the waters flow being somewhat faster than even last year, so the little duckies need to be in great shape to fight their way out of swirling ruts, and they will probably rub a few feathers. New training procedures were implemented at last year’s training camp to include rock hopping, if they can’t swim around it they’ve got to be able to hop it in their quest to be first quacker across the finish line.
The annual event is sponsored by the Kern Valley Exchange Club, the proceeds benefit the organization’s local scholarship program and other youth based activities such as Camp Keep, SAL, youth sports and much more. Kern Valley Exchange averages $15,000 in academic and vocational scholarships yearly. It takes the entire club membership to make this event successful and each and every one of them have their jobs down to a fine art, and their goal is to make sure everyone has a great time.
The event is a fun-filled day in Riverside Park, Kernville, with lots of activities for kids. Folks come from all over to spend the day in the park and watch the races. For many, rubber ducky racing is seriously fun as attested by the cheering crowd lining the shore at the finish line.
The Exchange Club duck crew starts setting up at 7:30 a.m. and by 10:00 a.m. the park is filling with duck racing enthusiasts, sometime even much earlier. Folks set up picnic areas, bringing lawn chairs and even shade covers.
Admission is free. Barbecue pulled pork lunch is served from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Races start at 1:00 p.m. There will be ten heat races with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners receiving $75, $50, and $25, respectively, and those winners will go on to the main event vying for a payout of $1,000, $500 and $250. Coming in last in each heat might prove lucrative as well since the last place duck in each heat race will be entered into the Loser’s Race that will pay $200 to the winning “loser.” Also, there is the Last Place Duck consolation prize of $100 for the last duck in the main event to cross the finish line, so as the saying goes, “It isn’t over until it’s over.”
Ducks for the heat races are $25 each or a family of five for $100 and each duck ticket include two lunches (additional lunch tickets can be purchased). The Silver ducks will race again this year in celebration of our 32nd anniversary, there will be only 32 ducks racing at cost of $32 each for a 50/50 split. Lame Duck 50/50 race returns this year at $10 per duck (no lunch included). By popular demand of a few high rolling duck racers, there will be one Odd Duck race; up to 23 $100 ducks such as Mae West, Betty Boop and the Cowardly Lion will make a run for the 50/50 cash prize waiting at the finish line. Kids will be busy all day long with face painting along with all the other fun things for kids that are all just $1 each including the dunk tank, mini duck race track, a variety of ducky games, duck pond, water balloon toss, tug of war and more. Plus there are yummy snow cones, cotton candy, sodas, popcorn and hot dogs, all at just $1 each.
Don’t miss the independent vendors that will be out to share their goods as well, including art, jewelry, soaps, clothing and purses.
A drawing for two $500 cash prizes will be held race day. Tickets for those prizes are $5 each or 7 for $25 (need not be present to win). Door prize drawings from the registered duck ticket stubs will be drawn in between races during the event.
Remember the river is flowing much faster this year, so please, remember life jackets and water safety to ensure everyone, especially the kids, enjoy a fun-filled day in the park.
Hope to see you all out for the races helping to support the future of our valley’s youth. A few tickets are still available at the Kern Valley Sun office for the first ten heat races and may be available race day. Tickets for specialty races will be available race day. For information call Head Quacks Marsha Smith at 760-379-7785 or Ron Smith at 760-379-6440.