Rockwall Rubber Duck Regatta launches Saturday

Duck Fest unites community in support of Boys & Girls Club and Meals on Wheels of Rockwall County

Meet Lola Olivia Bling, the duckerina from Rockwall's Dance and Arts Connection DVDC dance team!
A sea of yellow rubber ducks will take over The Harbor fountains Saturday. The Duck Fest fundraiser will provide support for the elderly and children in need within Rockwall County.

(Rockwall) September 19, 2012 – More than 3,000 yellow rubber ducks will splash down in the fountains of The Harbor on Lake Ray Hubbard this Saturday, ready to float to the finish line in Rockwall’s inaugural Rubber Duck Regatta.

Community members are uniting for the inaugural Rockwall Rubber Duck Regatta, in support of the Boys & Girls Club and Meals on Wheels of Rockwall County.

Hundreds of area families are expected to flock to The Harbor for the daylong Duck Fest, which includes a Family Walk & Waddle and 5K Duck Dash, a Corporate Duck Beauty Pageant, a Kid’s Nest with inflatables by Bounce ‘n More, arts and crafts and food vendors, and of course, plenty of rubber duck racing action.

Brenda Cross and Ariana Hargrove

“This is bigger than we ever expected,” said Brenda Brown Cross, who co-chairs the Regatta along with Rockwall Fire Marshall Ariana Hargrove. “We wanted to create a unique, family-oriented fundraising event that would bring people together to help those in our community who need it most. So far the event has raised more than $30,000, which will benefit two very deserving local charities – the Boys & Girls Club of Rockwall County and Meals on Wheels of Rockwall County.”

The Rockwall Fire Department's corporate duck is ready to race.

To date, more than 300 participants are pre-registered for the 5K Duck Dash. The available vendor space at The Harbor is nearly sold out, Duck “adoptions” are in the thousands, and at least 115 area businesses have purchased larger corporate ducks, which are being “duck-erated” for a beauty contest.

“We’re amazed at how the event has taken on a life of its own. We’re super excited about what this means for children and the elderly in our community,” Cross said.

The City of Rockwall's 'duckerations' are picturesque.

She explained that Meals on Wheels has suffered cuts in federal funding, and that transportation is needed to help deliver children in need to the Boys & Girls Club.

Flo-T the Duck gets big hugs from Scott and Jan Self aboard Seawolf.

“My passion is to raise money to get the kids who need us the most to the Club,” Cross said. “The Regatta provides a fun, easy and inexpensive way for everyone to get involved and make a difference. The ‘adoption’ fee per duck is only $5; the bigger corporate ducks are only $100. And incredible prizes have been donated to the cause for the race winners.”

She added that there’s still time to purchase a duck for those who haven’t done so already; ducks will even be available for “adoption” the morning of the event.

Meet Flo, the Progressive Insurance Duck.

At 2 p.m. Saturday, Rockwall Mayor David Sweet will sit in a dunking booth, helping to make a splash in the fundraising efforts. Other local celebs in the dunk tank include Judge Mark Russo, Boys & Girls Club Chief Professional Officer Misti Potter, and former city councilman Stephen Straughan.

Mayor Sweet and Rockwall Area Chamber of Commerce president Dana Macalik, and Royse City Chamber president Julia Bryant, will serve as judges for the Corporate Duck Beauty Pageant. Bel Fiore donated $1,000 in prizes for pageant winners. Corporate ducks that wish to race after the pageant may compete for a Golden Duck trophy.

Dorothy Spradlin shows off the BB&T (Branch Bank and Trust) corporate duck.

The $5 ducks are numbered and will be floating toward the finish line for fabulous raffle prizes – among them A Dell laptop, an Apple iPad2, a Nintendo DSi, an iPod docking station, two Dr Pepper bicycles, a Kindle Fire, a 32″ flatscreen TV, one year of meals from Chick-fil-A, one year of meals from Taco Casa, one year of custard from Culver’s, a camera, four Nestle backpacks filled with Wonka candy, four Nestle chairs and golf balls, a Nestle blanket and hoody, and (2) $50 gift cards from Taco Casa.

Ducks aren’t the only ones in the spotlight Saturday. On stage at The Harbor Amphitheater, festival-goers will enjoy dog obedience demonstrations and training lessons. Local rescue groups will host pet adoptions.

The Rockwall Chamber duck is ready for the big day.

“Ducky Dog Day” runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in conjunction with the Rubber Duck Regatta, and includes an Ugly Dog Contest, a Dog Disobedience Contest, Musical Sit and Stay, a Pet/Owner Look-A-Like Contest, and a Doggie Fashion Show.

Low-cost microchipping for dogs, courtesy of the Kaufman County Animal Awareness Project, occurs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Microchips are available for only $15.

Contestants can register in advance at rockwallpets.com/ducky.html. Entry fees are only $5 per event.

Dodie's Cajun Diner is pleased to present its Mardi Gras duck.

A complete schedule of events, duck sales, 5K registration, and more information about Rockwall’s Rubber Duck Regatta can be found at rockwallduckrace.org, a website designed and donated by outlaunched.com.

“The response has been so amazing, we’re already looking ahead to next year,” Cross said. “We want Rockwall to host an even bigger Duck Fest in 2013, perhaps a 3-day event – like the Plano Balloon Festival, or Grapevine’s Grapefest. This is such a great way to raise money – a fun way to host a raffle. In addition to the Boys & Girls Club and Meals on Wheels, we hope the Regatta will grow to include other local charities as well.”

Information and photos shared by Brenda Brown Cross, co-chair of Rockwall’s Rubber Duck Regatta; written by Dawn Redig for Blue Ribbon News, all rights reserved.

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RELATED STORY: Ducky Dog Day at The Harbor

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