More than 7,000 ducks have been in serious spring training for this Easter Monday’s Duck Race - some “cycloducks” were even in training at the Grand Depart piano push up Cragg Vale earlier this month!
This annual Easter “extrabagander”, now in its 15th year, takes place at 3.15pm on Easter Monday, April 21, with other acitivities around it being under way for several weeks.
Organised by the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge, it attracts thousands of visitors to witness the spectacle.
Thoughout the day there will be a variety of entertainment, including children’s rides, charity stalls and live music from a local jazz band, as well as the Hebden Bridge Junior Brass Band.
The ducks are all launched at the same time into the river from St George’s Bridge in the town centre and they race beak to beak down Hebden Water to the finish line at West End Bridge.
Tickets for the Duck Race cost £1 each and are available from over 30 shops and pubs in the town, displaying brightly coloured “duckumentary” posters, and from Hebden Bridge Tourist Information Centre.
Tickets, and other duck related gifts, will also be on sale from the Rotary stall in St George’s Square from 10am to 4pm from April 18 to 20, and from 10am to 3pm on Race Day itself.
This year, for the first time, the Rotary Club of Hebden Bridge are also be selling a limited number of tickets on-line at www.hebdenbridgerotary.org.uk
There will be ducktastic cash prizes for the first four lucky ducks to paddle across the finish line, £300 for the winner, then £200/£100/£50 respectively. Winners will be announced at the race and posted on the club’s website.
Due to the increasing success of this annual event, additional car parking has kindly be loaned by the owners of Walkley’s Clog factory and directions will be well signposted on the day, said Rotarian Ian Lindsay.
Twenty one local primary schools, nurseries and play groups have submitted their entries for the Duckorated Duck competition, with two separate categories for individual duckies or family flocks. Cash prizes and plaques are awarded to the winning entries. You can find out where they are below.
“So have waddle round the shops on a duck hunt to find your favourite, then cast your vote on http://www.hebdenbridgerotary.org.uk. Voting will end on mid-day on April 20,” said Ian.
The local business community supports the Local Business Sponsored Duck Race, also organised by the Rotary Club with brightly colored red, green or teal ducks and taking place 15 minutes before the main event.
They have already committed £1,000 to support the event. The winner of this is awarded a trophy and plaque to display in their shop until next years race. Any business not yet entered can still do so by calling 07836 579803 for further details.
All profits from the race are managed by the club to support worthy causes.
Duckorated Duck venues
Jemima Puddlefoot, Harold Crabtree; Danny Duck, Quilt Cabin; Flipper, Duck Le Sauce; Super Quack, Zinnia; Webster, The Old Tree House; Hill Toppers, Cabbages & Cushions; Flappy, The Willow Garden; Bobkins, Cheese & Wine Shop; Superduck, William Holt’s; Lilliput, Earth Spirit; Fix It Duck, Just Books; Duck Pond, Innovation; Le Yorkshire Canard, Valet Stores.
FAMILY OF DUCKS/SHOP
Tour de Quack, Blazing Saddles; Five Little Ducks Went Swimming, Fleur de Lys; Step into the Race, Ryburne & Co Estate Agents; Quackmania, Silly Billys; Quackety Quack Quack, Spirals; Quackmagic, Mountain Wild; Ducktastic, Independent Living; Disney on Ice, Daisy & Sam; Quackers for the Tour, LTD Fashion.