Fall City's rubber Ducky Derby means cool prizes, help for school

Rubber ducks roll down the Snoqualmie in the derby. The random race helps local schools. - William Shaw/Staff Photo
Rubber ducks roll down the Snoqualmie in the derby. The random race helps local schools.
— image credit: William Shaw/Staff Photo

They’re out of the tub and on the loose, all for a great cause.

During Fall City Days, rubber ducks get the chance to see the rushing waters of the Snoqualmie River, and take a thrilling tumble from the heights of the Fall City bridge.

During the annual Ducky Derby, the little guys race their way down the Snoqualmie River for fun and prizes, all to benefit Fall City Elementary.

For $5, entrants in the Ducky Derby get themselves a specially numbered and weighted racing duck for the competition. Only 1,000 ducks are available, with more than 50 finishers qualifying for prizes.

The grand prize in the Ducky Derby is a whopping $500, which is probably a lot more than any rubber duck bobbing up and down in the tub ever dreamed of winning. More cash and lots of additional prizes, and gift certificates donated by local businesses are also up for grabs.

The ducks will begin the 400-foot course from the state Route 202 bridge over the Snoqualmie River.

From there, they travel downriver with the help of a floating boom and volunteers with leaf blowers. The extra bit of oomph is required to help the ducks all go in the right direction and to keep them from washing up on the river banks.

Local dogs and small children are usually tempted to chase after and catch the ducks as well, so volunteers do all they can to make sure every racing duck reaches the finish line.

These measures are the result of the Ducky Derby’s inaugural run, which was down the Raging River.

Fortunately, the Ducky Derby runs as smoothly as the Indy 500 these days, which allows everyone to concentrate on just having fun, especially at the big start.

Aside from being good old-fashioned fun, the Ducky Derby adds an important element to the Fall City Days celebration by incorporating the river and the community’s connection to the waterway into the festivities.

Without the river and the Falls, there would be no Fall City.

• Purchase ducks at Hauglie Insurance and other downtown Fall City businesses.


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