Volunteers Needed For Duck Race Security
“We need about 30 to 40 people to help corral the ducks as they float down Fall River, as well as making sure people don’t fall into the river,” said Ward Nelson, the “sheriff” of the duck race. Nelson said volunteers should contact him at (630) 846-1972 as soon as possible.
On race day, Saturday, May 3rd, volunteers should check in at the Big Horn Restaurant at 401 W. Elkhorn in the rear Deli Room at 12:30 p.m. where they will sign in, get a security hat and vest, a long pole to push ducks back into the running water, and instructions on what part of Fall River they are assigned to work.
The Estes Park Duck Race, run by the Rotary Club of Estes Park, is the largest general charitable fund raiser in the Estes Valley helping raise funds for over 65 charitable organizations and agencies that benefit area residents.
Corralling more than 5,000 ducks floating down Fall River from Nicky’s Resort to the Wheel Bar in Riverside Plaza in downtown Estes Park is a large undertaking that requires volunteer manpower.
Nelson said the primary concern for security volunteers is safety. “It’s basically making sure children are kept away from the river banks and that people don’t touch the ducks,” Nelson explained. “Secondly, push ducks away from obstacles, such as whirlpools, bushes, and the like. And the volunteers shouldn’t abandon their post on the river until the duck sweepers reach them. They probably will be working from about 1:00 p.m. (when the ducks drop into the river at Nicky’s Resort) until about 3:30 p.m. or so.”
Duck patrol volunteers are not expected to be police or law enforcement officers. “If people are stealing ducks, just ask them to return them to the river,” said Nelson. “Our main concern is safety.”
Volunteers must be at least 21-years old. Nelson is also issuing a special call for “sweepers” this year. Sweepers wear waders while clearing a section of the river of wayward ducks. A bit more strenuous than shoreline helping, sweepers also need a strong sense of balance. Waders are available for those that need them. Anyone interested in being a duck patrol volunteer should sign up in advance by contacting Ward Nelson at (630) 846-1972.