It’s been a decade since rubber ducks started racing at Mass Audubon’s Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary and the flock is in training for a return to the Barney’s Joy channel starting line on Saturday, Aug. 17.
As usual, the owner of the winning duck will be able to select an expenses-paid dinner-for-two destination anywhere in the world.
The day after the derby, Sunday, Aug. 18, the Wildlife Sanctuary will again host its Duck Derby Festival at sanctuary headquarters, 1280 Horseneck Road, Westport. Events will include the Ducky Dash 5k and the Kids Totally Quackers Obstacle Course. While paid registration is required for the 5k race and obstacle course (and includes a duck entry for registrations before August 16) – the festival is free and open to the public.
The duck race will start Saturday at 3 p.m. As the race takes place on private land, spectators must contact the Sanctuary to register. That can be done by calling (508) 636-2437 or emailing [email protected] .
The adopted ducks will race on the incoming tide from Buzzards Bay into Allens Pond, and the first to cross the finish line wins the grandpPrize – dinner for two anywhere in the world — (includes airfare and two nights’ lodging). Last year, Linda and Ron Gaudet’s duck Madge took that prize and sent the lucky couple off to New Zealand.
In addition to the grand prize, there are 55 other prizes to win, including the elusive Stealth Duck, the “slow and steady” last place Slacker Quacker, and, in honor of 10 years of racing, the Decade Duck.
Sunday kicks off at 8 a.m. with the second running of the Ducky Dash 5k over one of the region’s most scenic courses. Preregistration is $30 and includes a racing duck. Onsite registration (without duck entry) will also be available the morning of the race. Following the 5k, children ages 10 and under can attempt the Totally Quackers obstacle course. Registration for both events can be done by visiting http://www.active.com.
At 11 a.m., post-race festivities commence on the grounds near the field station from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include a $5 barbecue lunch, games and crafts for kids, educational exhibits, live music with Neal McCarthy & Friends, video replay of the race, silent auction, and live plant auction. All derby proceeds will be used to support programs at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary.
To adopt duck, go to the Allens Pond Web site at www.allenspond.org
Entrants can purchase one duck for $10, five for $40, or 13 for $100. Entries will be accepted online until 4 p.m. on August 16 and at the field station until 1:30 p.m. on race day. Duck entry forms can also be picked up at the Bayside Restaurant, Partners Village Store, Davoll’s General Store, Sylvan Nursey and Alderbrook Farm. Prize winners need not be present to win.
The Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary conducts a number of programs to study and preserve this beautiful and ecologically important site. In addition to the efforts at Allens Pond, the sanctuary also runs outreach programs in the surrounding local communities including Wareham at Great Neck Wildlife Sanctuary, and monitors Osprey and coastal water birds at other sites in Westport and Dartmouth.
For more information on Massachusetts Audubon, to adopt a duck, or for derby details, go to www.massaudubon.org/duckderby or call the Sanctuary at 508-636-2437.