Nearly $20,000 in prizes doled out during Duck Day

June 2, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Isabel Buckmaster

There’s nothing quite like getting the family together for an afternoon rubber duck race in Dufferin County.

The countdown to 2 p.m. was immediately distinguishable from the rest of the event, hushed breaths replacing the live music and children’s laughter that followed the other free activities in Grand Valley’s Hereward Park.

But not even Paw Patrol characters and Geronimo Stilton could take attention away from the sea of yellow about to spill into the water and the victorious screams that would soon follow.

Affectionately nicknamed “Duck Day,” the Grand Valley Lions hosted their duck race on May 28, welcoming thousands of visitors to the community.

Food and refreshments were available in Hereward Park, while other local organizations offered free balloons, popcorn, freezies, and even duck-shaped cookies and hats. The Grand Valley Lions club also collected eyeglasses and hearing aids, in addition to monetary donations.

“The day was great actually, the weather was really nice, wasn’t too hot wasn’t too cold,” said Randy McClelland, Grand Valley Lions Duck Race chair.

One thousand dollars and first place was nabbed by Jenna Ince and her duck from Orangeville. Another Orangeville resident, Tia Randall’s duck won third place and $600.  

Second place went to Dave Loveridge of Cochrane, who returned home with his second victory and $1,000, after winning $500 in a previous race.

“There were great crowds. I estimate about a little over two thousand people there,” said McClelland. “And lots of entertainment, lots of things for the kids to do. Just a great day.”

Although he has organized the event for 25 years, McClelland has never floated his own duck, although he says it isn’t out of the question.

“I considered (choosing a duck) very briefly,” said McClelland. “But I’m the chairman of the event so I don’t think it would look very good if the chairman won.”

This year, the Grand Valley Lions offered 76 prizes totalling over $19,000. More than 3,000 duck tickets were sold at $5 each.

Grand Valley Crane Rental, the events longest sponsor, and several other organizations helped make it successful.

Duck Day also marked the end of the Grand Valley Lions mascot naming contest. The winning names were Pondsford the Polar Bear, named by Lindsay Gibson, Lenard the Lion, named by Latasha Hines, and Penelope the Duck, named by Eliana Azevedo.

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