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Lucky Ducky Race This Thursday

By Staff | Sep 14, 2010

Remember the old saying, “…like a duck takes to water?” The ducks will finally take to the water later this week, after the water was too high earlier this summer.

The Emmetsburg Lions’ Club will finally get to present its annual “Lucky Ducky” race this Thursday, Sept. 16, starting at 2 p.m. at the Rendering Works Bridge west of Emmetsburg. The ducks will navigate the west fork of the Des Moines River and travel south to the finish line at the Burns Bridge, south of the Emmetsburg Airport.

While that sounds relatively simple, the road, er, the waterway to the 2010 Lucky Ducky race hasn’t been all that calm.

“Originally, when we wanted to have the race back before the Fourth of July, we’d had a lot of rain and rains up north, and the river was running pretty high and pretty fast,” noted Steve Heldt, one of the organizers of the annual fundraiser. “At that time, because the river was running faster and higher, we just felt it wouldn’t be safe for people to try and kayak along with the ducks, so we elected to postpone the race until the conditions were more favorable.”

Finally, after the river levels gradually dropped down to more familiar levels and flow, the Lions club decided this Thursday would be the day.

“The ducks are excited,” Heldt said. “And so are the Lions.”

The fundraiser supports community service project of the Lions Club and offers prizes to the first three ducks and their adopted owners. A support crew featuring kayaks and a motor boat will accompany the ducks in their journey down the river, rescuing any ducks who become stranded in snags or backwaters. The escorts will also protect the ducks from the eagles who guard the river near the airport as well.

The public is invited to watch the launching of the ducks at 2 p.m. Thursday at the Rendering Works Bridge, and then wait for the first ducks to arrive at the Burns Bridge later on.