More than 20,000 bright yellow ducks will be released into Lake Lanier Saturday, May 15, for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier’s biggest community fundraiser of the year.
The 23rd annual Rubber Duck Derby will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Lake Lanier Olympic Park. The ducklings will hit the water at 2:30 p.m. and float across their charted race course.
Brenda Bohn, Boys & Girls Clubs development and communications director, said the nonprofit felt like it could safely hold the event in-person — instead of online like last year — because of Lake Lanier Olympic Park’s success with Food Truck Fridays.
“We are certainly ready to hold it outside again,” Bohn said. “We’re feeling 100% confident we can do that safely. Partnering at Lake Lanier Olympic Park, they’ve got social distancing down to a science.”
Attendees will be encouraged to wear masks.
23rd annual Rubber Duck Derby
What: Fundraiser to support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier
When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 15; duck race begins at 2:30 p.m.
Where: Lake Lanier Olympic Park, 3105 Clarks Bridge Road, Gainesville
The grand prize for the luckiest duck in the race is $10,000 in cash. The other top nine winners of the derby will also be awarded. First place will receive the choice of a diamond solitaire in either a pendant with chain or a Tiffany-style ring. Second place will be presented with a general mechanics tool kit from KipperTool, and third place will be given a two-night stay at Legacy Lodge and four-person golf package from Lanier Islands.
Those 18 and older can adopt a duck for $6 each by visiting duckrace.com/gainesville or on-site May 15.
The event is family-friendly with bounce houses, pony rides, food trucks, live musical entertainment and more. All of the proceeds from the derby will be donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier to help provide after school, summer and sports programs.
“It’s really a great opportunity to enjoy some outdoor family fun, and it’s for a good cause to raise money for the kids,” Bohn said.
Last year’s virtual event set a record with over 21,000 duck adoptions. On May 15, Bohn said the nonprofit hopes to surpass that amount. So far, nearly 13,500 ducks have been adopted.
At 8 a.m. Monday, May 10, people are encouraged to meet at Lake Lanier Olympic Park’s boathouse to replace tags on the rubber ducks for the upcoming race.
“We’d love to have more community volunteers,” Bohn said.