Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival set for May 5

 05/02/2018 | 01:28 PM 

It’s time to shake your tail feathers and make plans to attend the 2018 Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival. Set for Saturday, May 5, this year’s race will feature expanded activities for the whole family. In addition to the race of thousands of “adopted” yellow plastic ducks in the Fall River, the event will feature a fun run and a festival in downtown Bond Park with food, beer, games, and live music.

The reason for the race, beside a day of family fun in Estes Park and the chance to win one of over 500 prizes: to raise funds for 68 Estes Valley nonprofit charities and organizations. Each beneficiary group receives $19 for every $20 adoption they sell. Online adoptions include a $2 service fee. Since its inception, the Duck Race has returned $2.4 million to area charities.

You can buy a duck adoption for $20 on Race Day at several Estes Park locations, or purchase a duck adoption online at Participants “adopt” a duck, which is assigned a number in the race computer database. Sales of duck adoptions end at noon on race day.

A full day of activities begins with some exercise with incredible mountain views for the whole family and ends with music and activities at the finish line. Over 5,000 little yellow plastic ducks are expected to begin their race down the Fall River near Nicky’s Resort, 1350 Fall River Rd. The duck drop ceremony includes brief remarks, music, and a countdown by the crowd.

Here’s the day’s full schedule:
8:30 a.m. – Duck Waddle 5K Race (Go to for more info on the 5k Waddle.)
10 a.m. – noon – Participating organizations and charities sell Duck Adoptions in Bond Park.
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Bond Park Festival with live entertainment, food vendors, beer garden, and fun family activities
11:30 a.m. – Starting Line at Nicky’s Resort with live music and Duck Adoption sales
1 p.m. – Official Duck Race Drop at Nicky’s Resort!
1:30 p.m. – Watch the winning ducks cross the Finish Line near the Wheel Bar in George Hix Riverside Plaza
1:30 – 4 p.m. – Stay the afternoon to enjoy the Festival with live music, food, and activities in Bond Park and George Hix Riverside Plaza.

For the third year, Bond Park activities join the traditional downtown finish line fun of waiting for the ducks to arrive, scoping out the prize boards, having your face painted, buying duck-themed merchandise, and tapping your feet to the sound of live music.

“We have a large committee working to make the 30th Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival an enjoyable day in the mountains,” said Brad “Big Duck” Rosenbaum, this year’s event chairman. “The race will be surrounded by a festival of family fun.”

The festival also welcomes the Rotary District 5440 Conference attendees this year, as their annual meeting occurs May 3-5 in Estes Park.

As exciting as May 5 promises to be, duck adopters do not have to attend the Duck Race to win prizes or support the charities.

For more information on the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race, visit or

Submitted by: Rita DuChateau

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