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Place your bets and don't duck out
Duck Derby fundraiser for Boys & Girls Clubs set Saturday
Some of the 17,000 rubber ducks float toward the finish line during last year's Rubber Duck Derby at Clarks Bridge Park Saturday. - photo by Tom Reed

Rubber Duck Derby

When: 3 p.m. Saturday, May 12

Where: Lake Lanier Olympic Center, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville

How much: $5 for a single duck, $25 for a “quack pack” of six or $100 for grand pack of 25

To adopt a duck: 770-656-2527,

Duck Fest

What: Free family festival

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

What: Crafts, children’s activities, health screenings, entertainment, vendors and more

This weekend, Lake Lanier will be flooded with thousands of ducks.

No need for alarm, though. Unlike the fowl in the Alfred Hitchcock film, these birds mean no harm; they’re the “contestants” in the 14th annual Rubber Duck Derby.

Thee event is the year’s biggest fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hall County, according to Michele Piucci, who serves on the event planning committee.

“All of the money raised during the Rubber Duck Derby goes to the local Boys and Girls Clubs organization to help them support activities and programs for local youth,” she said.

The derby begins at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 12, at the Lake Lanier Olympic Center at 3105 Clarks Bridge Road in Gainesville.

It will feature 16,000 yellow rubber ducks taking flight from a barge to race through the waters of Lake Lanier, aided by the wind and waves from kayakers and canoers.

As the ducks are raising to the finish line, Duck Fest — a family festival — will have lots of activities to keep everyone entertained.

The festival will include vendors, a classic car show, petting zoo, health screening, food and a host of free children’s activities.

There will also be live entertainment from acts like Dave Boyd and the Shade Tree Smugglers. The festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

It’s not too late to enter your own duck in the derby.

For $5 you can adopt a single, yellow duck or for $25 you can adopt a “Quack Pack” of six ducks. If you really want to increase your odds of winning a prize, you can adopt a “Grand Pack” of 25 ducks for $100.

The grand prize for the race is $10,000 cash, but seven other prizes — ranging from a $1,000 Best Buy gift card to a Kindle Fire — will also be handed out.

“We encourage everyone to get their ducks early,” Piucci said, “but if there are any left, we’ll have them available at the event.”

You can adopt a duck online or by calling the Duck Line at 770-656-2527.