The inaugural Duckin’ Down the River rubber ducky race was held by Saline Rotary Club at Curtiss Park Saturday.
Dozens of ducks, purchased for $10 or 3 for $20, were lined up on the Saline River, just around the bend. A plastic pipe held the ducks at the starting line until the race started.
More than 250 rubber duckies raced with surprising speed, buoyed by a river current strengthened by recent rainfall, about 40 yards to the finish line under the observatory deck.
Diane Friese’s duck finished first. The lucky ducky was worth $300 for Friese, who promptly donated $150 back to Rotary Club. Mariah Evans’ duck finished second for the $200 prize. Third place went to young Gwedolyn Blough, granddaughter of David Blough. She donated half of her $100 prize back to rotary.
The last place duck was owned by Chris Call. If he’s 21 or older, he’ll win a bottle of cold duck.
Rotary member Jill Durnen said the money will be used to support community projects, such as the effort to beautify the alley between Michigan Avenue businesses and the old Little Caesar’s building.
Organizers said they were pleased with the result of the event. Sales went well even though Rotary members spent more time on the logistics of the race than publicity.
For more on Saline Rotary, visit www.salinerotary.org.