A corrected version of this story is below:
The annual Sooke Harbourside Lions’ Rubber Duck Race swims back to the Sooke Flats on Saturday (May 7) for a day of fun activities, hot dogs and … well, rubber ducks.
Keeping up with tradition, 2,500 rubber ducks will get launched from a secret location up Sooke River where they will drift with the current all the way to the finish line at the Flats.
There, five lucky ducks will claim their prizes, with a first-place cash prize of $1,000, $400 for second place, $300 for third, $200 for fourth and $100 for fifth.
The race kicks off at 2 p.m.
When that floating cloud of yellow ducks starts coming in, it creates quite the crowd, says Laurie Spence, one of the main organizers of the race.
“Everyone lines the river for the last hundred feet or so, cheering on the ducks as they come bobbing down. It’s quite a sight,” she says, adding that depending on the river current and the rising tide it can take 30 minutes or longer for the ducks to appear.
Games and activities for children this year have increased, including a duck slide, duck toss, duck pond, as well as other races, such as an old-fashioned three-legged race.
There will also be a concession stand with “world famous” hot dogs, drinks and refreshments, as well as a bouncy castle. For those with a creative bent, crafts, cupcake decorating and face painting will also be available.
Admission to the event is free. Participating in the race isn’t mandatory either, however, those who want a duck (or several) in the race can buy a token for $5, or get a “quack pack” for $20.
All money raised goes to support Camp Shawnigan for disabled children and Camp Kakhamela, a diabetes camp in Howe Sound. Regardless of which camp receives the funds, kids with diabetes or mental or physical challenges get to camp for a week.
Festivities start at noon with the race kicking off at 2 p.m.