After a four-year gap, organizers will finally be able to fowl the waters again at Twin Lakes for the annual Juneau Duck Derby.
Thousands of the rubber creatures will take flight – or, more accurately, be dropped from a helicopter — during the annual fundraiser for the Glacier Valley Rotary Club scheduled Aug. 26. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the annual event, with the Rotary hosting a “duckless raffle” in the interim, but this year’s event will return with the drop and other activities during the day.
First time in four years for being able to have a live drop,” said Eric Forst, president of the Glacier Valley Rotary Club. “They will be hoisted by, I believe, Coastal Helicopters up over the Twin Lakes and released into the lake.”
The ducks, tagged with numbers and freshly washed after their long period in storage, are scheduled to be released at 2 p.m. According to the official rules, “ducks will be allowed to ‘swim’ freely for a minimum of 30 minutes before winning ducks will be rescued from the water by an authorized representative.”
People can purchase ducks online at juneauduckderby.com, at the Douglas Breeze In or Gas N Go between 4-6 p.m. Aug. 23, Super Bear or Foodland IGA from 4-6 p.m. on Aug. 24, or at the Juneau Radio Center from 6:30-9 a.m. Aug. 25 — where purchasers will get a “donut for duck” exchange. Ducks can also be bought at the event that begins at 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. if available.
“Our goal is to sell 5,000 ducks,” Forst said. “We’re usually pretty close to that by the time we get to the actual event day.”
Other activities during the event include music, games and food, he said.
Setting up the raffle is a time-consuming process that took a bit of extra effort this year since the ducks were in storage so long, Forst said.
“We (normally) take them we take them out every year — we clean them, we label them, make sure they’re ready to go and they still float, and all that kind of stuff,” he said.
Participants can purchase one duck for $10 or purchase three ducks for $25 or 13 for $100. The grand prize is $5,000, second-place prize is $1,000 plus two round-trip tickets to anywhere Alaska Airlines travels, third place prize is $1,500, and there are other lesser cash prizes for the top 10 winners.
The funds raised go toward youth scholarships, projects such as park shelters and picnic tables, and other purposes, Forst said.
• Contact Mark Sabbatini at email@example.com or (907) 957-2306.