Westport, CT: The Great Duck Race kicks off first official weekend of summer
For the moment, the cold rainy weekends of spring were forgotten as glorious weather ushered in the first official weekend of summer. Westporters and visitors from far and near gathered at Parker Harding Plaza to enjoy The Great Duck Race, an annual fundraiser sponsored by Westport Sunrise Rotary, with proceeds raised to support local charities. For $20, you could purchase a ticket, representing a numbered duck, and a chance to win one of ten prizes. First prize was a $5,000 Visa Gift Card.
Although the ducks were not scheduled to race until mid-afternoon., the festivities began at 11:00 A.M., accompanied by live music provided by adult and teenage bands. There were lots of activities to keep children occupied, including a bouncy castle, face painting and arts and crafts table. A dunk tank provided adult amusement, where, for $5, you could purchase three chances to dunk a local celebrity, among them School Superintendent Elliot Landon and Selectman Charlie Haberstroh.
Also, on display, were the entrants in the Duck Decorating Contest.
Anticipation grew as 3 o’clock approached, the appointed time for the race to begin. There was a slight delay while officials debated how best to coax the ducks forward while fighting the wind, which was blowing against the tide. At last, approximately 2,300 ducks entered the water…and they’re off!!!
It took a few minutes but eventually a handful of ducks broke from the pack and funneled their way towards the finish line. The lucky winners were announced and the event drew to a close.
Not a way to kick off Westport's summer season.