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Ducks ready for annual race in Sooke River

The big duck is helping sell tickets for the annual Duck Race on the Sooke River on May 11. - Britt Santowski
The big duck is helping sell tickets for the annual Duck Race on the Sooke River on May 11.
— image credit: Britt Santowski

Sooke is going quackers at this free family affair.

Have you seen that big yellow bird waving at cars and pedestrians around town? You know, that big goofy yellow duck.

Yes, it’s true, the ducks are at it again, getting ready, set to go, in the amazing Duck Race.

The Sooke Harbourside Lions are launching their seventh annual Duck Race on Saturday, May 11. Lucky seven. The event takes place at the Sooke Campground,  from 11 a.m. until about 3 p.m., rain or shine.

This family-focussed affair has something for everyone including games, a bouncy castle, game-show styled draws, a balloon-shaping clown, and the famous Harbourside Lions’ hotdogs. And, of course, there is the highlight of watching close to 3,000 tide-dependent rubber ducks rushing towards (or idly meandering in the general vicinity of) the finish line.

Jane Bellows, First Vice President of the all-female Sooke Harbourside Lions, sees additional sideline benefits of merging families at community events.

“Families can come down and have a great time, and you get together with other families, moms, and start sharing stories and all of a sudden the load might seem a little lighter for just a little while.”

Admission is free, and participation in any of the games is by donation.

The only component that has a firm price attached is the adoption of the ducks, as the winner receives $1,000. Ducks entered into the Duck Race can be “adopted” at $5 apiece, or you can adopt a quack pack -- that would be a lovely family of five -- for $20. Proceeds from the Duck Race are split between the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and other local charities that include Camp Shawnigan.

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