By Marsha Smith
Kern Valley Sun
The roar of the river, and a lot of quacking will be heard in Riverside Park on Saturday, Aug. 25, as the Kern Valley Exchange Club presents the 31st annual Rubber Ducky Races. Head quack, coach and trainer Ron Smith says, “Every single one of the 1,000 little web footed quackers have been working out daily to do their best to be the first across the finish line.” Smith added, “They have practiced their leap from the bridge and river maneuver strategy to be in the best shape possible.”
The event starts at 10 a.m. with vendors and their wares, concessions including snow cones, cotton candy, hot dogs, water melon, kid’s games including the Mini Rubber Ducky-Lickity Split race track, a dunk tank, water slides, face painting, duck poop bingo, and more. The mini rubber duck racing track for the kids is $2 and includes the duck to keep and two races, and an additional two races can be purchased for $1. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Races start at 1 p.m.
Ducks for the main races are $25 each and include two pulled pork lunches. Duck families of five are also available for $100 which include ten lunches. There are ten heat races (100 ducks each). Top three in each heat (winning $75, $50, $25 respectively) go on to the main event (vying for the grand prize of $1,000, $500, $250 respectively) and the last place duck in the main takes home $100. Even the last place duck in each heat gets a second chance to race again for a chance at $200. Most years the main races are sold out prior to or early on race day so don’t wait, get your duck now. If you want lunch but didn’t purchase a duck, you can purchase lunch for $7, and it is delicious.
Specialty races will be available on race day. Lame Duck race is a 50/50 with up to 100 ducks racing and cost only $10 (no lunch). Silver Duck Anniversary Race celebrates our anniversary and this year there are only 31 silver ducks at $31 each (50/50) representing ‘the passing of time,’ however they are still adorned with the pearls representing the 30th year lovingly placed there by duck decorator CJ Bundy. And what is a Rubber Duck Race without the high roller Celebrity Odd Duck Race? Only 17 ducks at $100, ranging from Betty Boop to the Blues Brother’s to the Trump Duck race, for a 50/50 split. This year joining the cast of celebs is Lucy, “I Love Lucy.”
There is also two drawings for $500 cash prizes. There are also door prizes and a great family fun day in the park.
Word has it there just might be some firefighters there helping out and getting a little break from their heroic work on the many fires they have battled this year. KV High football players, Excel Club, FFA, One Spade Youth Packers, SAL and more will be on hand to help with the event.
Proceeds from the event benefit local academic and vocational scholarships as well as youth programs. The Exchange Club awards a minimum of $15,000 per year in scholarships as well as thousands of dollars to youth programs. Come out and be a part of shaping the leadership of the future.