Duck Day returning to Grand Valley this weekend with $30,000 in prizes

May 25, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Ready, set, go!

The 26th Annual Grand Valley Duck Race is returning to Hereward Park this weekend and almost $30,000 in prizes are up for grabs.

A few thousand people are expected to fill up the park on May 27 for a fun day of family events and activities from morning to afternoon.

Ducks are sold for $10 each and 3,500 of them will be dropped into the Grand River for 2 p.m. by the Grand Valley Crane Rental, as attendees hope their duck is first to cross the finish line.

The prize package for the first place duck is a Camp Chef XT24 pellet Grill/smoker and a year supply of Pit Master Choice Pellets and Accessories, valued at $2,000. Second place receives $1,000 cash, third and fourth receive $750 and those who place between seventh and 24th place each get $500. The prize for the last duck across the finish line is $500 as well. There is a total of 103 prizes this year.

Grand Valley Lions Duck Race chair Randy McClelland said attendees enjoy watching the ducks drop down from the crane and float down the river each year.  

“It’s a fun family event and something different to see,” he told the Citizen.

McClelland added, “There’s a lot of free things for the kids to do to.”

Some of those free activities include face painting, the Lions Duck Pond, a bouncy castle, children’s play area, interacting with Paw Patrol characters, bucket rides with Orangeville Hydro, and touring one of Grand Valley Fire’s big engines. Treasure gemstone painting is also available.

For grub, attendees can get Chapman’s ice cream from the Mill Creek Pub, smoothies from Pita Pit with Pita Pete, pulled pork from Pitmasters Choice Pellets, and free cookies from Boston Pizza. The Grand Valley Air Cadets will also be on hand with food and refreshments, including Rex’s Donuts.

“There’s lots of things going on and we’ll have lots of information booths,” said McLelland.

The action starts at 8 a.m. with a breakfast, courtesy of the Grand Valley Lions, held at the Community Centre, along with garage sales starting throughout town and a massive plant sale behind the arena. 

Live entertainment will run from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., with music provided by the Aaron Muir Band.

Money raised from the Duck Race is used to support the Little Lions Learn to Skate program, Grand Valley 85 Air Cadets Squadron, Grand Valley Food Bank, Headwaters Health Care Centre, minor sports, and many other not-for-profit organizations.

“Basically, all our money stays in the community,” said McClelland.

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