By: Rita DuChateau
Decision, decisions! Where do you begin your day at the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival? Here are some suggestions to maximize your fun.
Run/walk/skip/push a stroller with the Estes Park Running Club in the 5K Duck Waddle. It begins at 9 a.m. and race registration includes a Duck Race adoption, a running shirt featuring Lucky and a beer ticket, so you can triple your fun. The 5K begins at east side of Bond Park at Elkhorn Avenue. Runners and walkers will follow the scenic Fall River path and return along Wonder View to Town Hall/ Bond Park finish line. Register online at http://estesparkrunning.org/our-races/duck-waddle-5k/ or in person on Race Day beginning at 8 a.m. on the Bond Park side of the Town Hall building. The Estes Park Running Club is one of this year’s 67 Participating Organizations.
Head to George Hix Memorial Riverside Plaza beginning at 10 a.m. to engage in some fun activities hosted by the Participating Organizations. Most activities are duck-themed and include prizes, along with great information. Organizations also will be selling duck adoptions up to the noon deadline. Hix Plaza music begins at 10 a.m. with the Highland Brass Quintet and features Vic Anderson at 11 a.m. Refuel with a snack at one of the many eateries along the Riverwalk.
Now, your first big decision: Duck Drop, Cowboy Brad Fitch or both? If you want to stay put at Hix Plaza, you can hear Cowboy Brad’s John Denver/Gordon Lightfoot Tribute show beginning at 12:45. He will wow the crowd until 2:15, so you can still catch his performance if you arrive at Hix Plaza after the Duck Drop at Nicky’s. Ducks could start arriving at the Finish Line by 2 p.m., depending on the current in the Fall River on May 4.
Fans of the Duck Drop countdown will need to head to Nicky’s Steakhouse on Fall River Rd. Ducks drop at 1 p.m. sharp. Music begins at Nicky’s at 10 a.m. and continues until the rubber ducks start their swim. At Nicky’s, race fans will hear Ron Ball at 10 a.m., The Riverside Ramblers at 11 a.m. and the Estes Park Singers at 12:45.
After the ducks hit the water, race fans can make their way to the Finish Line in George Hix Plaza to scan the prize boards as they fill with hundreds of winners’ names. There, duck fans also can enjoy the melodies of Brad Fitch until 2:15 and then Elk Hollow from 2:30 – 4 p.m.
Other activities in George Hix Plaza include family favorites: Bongo the Balloon Man, face painting and a bake sale.
The Duck Squat Raffle and the sale of duck-themed merchandise will take place at the Start and Finish lines so as not to miss any duck fans.
The Estes Park Rotary Club also will sell its new discount card, The Friendship Card, for $10 at both locations. The card benefits the club’s many philanthropic programs and provides discounts at more than 60 local shops and restaurants.
Ballet Renaissance’s Ballerina Duckies will perform at the Starting Line at Nicky’s and the Finish Line at the Wheel Bar.
“I invite everyone to come to the Duck Race this year and enjoy all the fun,” said ‘Big Duck’ Kathy Groesbeck.
No matter where you decide to spend your Race Day, feathered fun is guaranteed!
For more information on the day’s activities, visit www.epduckrace.org/schedule