FAQs about the Estes Park Duck Race


Listed are Frequently Asked Questions about the Duck Race. Click on the question to find the answer. If you have a question that is not answered here, please quack us at DuckRace@RotaryClubOfEstesPark.org.


FAQs:

Q: How do I know if I won a prize?

A: Prizes are listed on race day after the race. Also prize winners will be posted to the prizes page after the race.
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Q: How did the Duck Race get started?


A: The Estes Park Duck Race continues a tradition started in 1989 to support the local charities of the Estes Valley. In 1989, Estes Park didn't have a United Way or any other organized way to collect and distribute funds to needy organizations in town. Then, one day, four businessmen in town, Stan Pratt, Nick Kane, Mike McDonald, and Steve Nagl were having coffee and were discussing that very issue. They were also brainstorming on ideas for extending the "shoulder season" in Estes so that the merchants could have a better business season.
Stan mentioned that he had seen a neat duck race up in Oregon and it seemed like it was a lot of fun and a good way to bring the tourists to town for a festival. Not only that, it seemed like a good way to raise money for the charitable organizations in town. Looked like a natural winner.
Mike said. "Well, we've got a river that runs right through the main part of town." Nick chimed in with, "We could start the race at my restaurant." And Steve added, "The finish line could be at my place."
And, that's how the Duck Race started. From that small beginning, the Estes Park Duck Race has grown to be one of the top 5 Duck Races in Colorado and now enjoys enormous popularity with 5-7 thousand ducks being adopted and well over 600-700 Prizes for the lucky winners. Our Duck Race has become the second oldest continuing Duck Race in the United States.
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Q: When is the Estes Park Duck Race?


A: The Estes Park Duck Race is held annually on the first Saturday in May. This 29th Duck Race will be held on May 6th, 2017, and continues a tradition started in 1989 to support the local charities of the Estes Valley.
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Q: How does the Duck Race work?

A: Each year, 60-70 local Estes Valley charities are selected to become organizations that participate in the Duck Race. The Rotary Club of Estes Park organizes the Duck Race and handles all the administrative, operational, and financial aspects of the Duck Race. During Race season, people may “adopt” a rubber ducky for the Duck Race and designate the charity to receive the proceeds of their adoptions. The adopted ducks will be released to float down Fall River in Estes Park on Race Day. The ducks are collected at the finish line and Prizes are awarded to the adopters of the ducks that win the Duck Race. After the race, the collected monies are distributed to the local charities on the basis of the number of adoptions credited to each charity.
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Q: How much money do the charities receive?

A: Each charity receives 95% of the money collected from the adoptions that people indicated should be credited to them. This is a truly impressive return ratio that reflects the Rotary Club’s efforts to minimize the Duck Race costs and return the maximum amount of money to the charities.
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Q: How do I adopt a duck?


A: It’s easy. There are three ways to adopt a duck. Duck adoptions begin after the New Year. You can either fill out Duck Race Adoption Forms supplied by a local charity, or you can drop by any participating merchant or business in the Estes Valley and/or Front Range area and get Adoption Forms, or you can fill out Adoption Forms on this website. You can also adopt a duck while signed into your Facebook account from our Facebook store. Your adopted ducky will be entered into the Duck Race on Race Day.
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Q: How much does it cost to adopt a duck?


A: If you choose to fill out an Adoption Form as a printed form, the cost is $20 per adoption. If you choose to use this website or our Facebook store for adoptions, we charge an additional $1 to cover the online processing costs, making the total cost of an online Adoption Form equal to $21. In either case, the local charity you select will receive $19 of the cost of the adoption.
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Q: What do I do if I choose to adopt a duck using the printed form?

A: Fill out the form completely and either give the form and a $20 check to one of the local participating charities (listed on the form), bring the form and $20 to Duck Central, or mail the form and a $20 check to the Estes Park Duck Race, PO Box 1226, Estes Park, Colorado 80517. Note that the form must be received by the Duck Race committee not later than 5pm on May 5th, 2017.
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Q: Is there a limit to the number of adoptions I can purchase?

A: For the Adoption Forms supplied as a printed form, there is no limit to the number of forms you can purchase. Note that we can offer you some simple methods for filling out the Adoption Forms if you choose a lot of forms and don’t wish to fill out every single form with the same information. Contact us at DuckRace@RotaryClubOfEstesPark.org for details on bulk purchases. If you choose to use the website to purchase your forms, there is a limit of 25 forms that can be purchased in a single charge transaction. Of course, you can have as many transactions as you wish. The website is designed to collect your information in a simple format that makes it easy for you to enter as many adoptions as you wish.
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Q: I’ve ordered some adoptions on the online system. Do I receive some actual adoption forms in the mail or what?


A: All online orders are input directly into the Duck Race master database directly. There is no need for printed adoption forms since the order is a direct order into the database. At the completion of your online order, you will receive a confirmation of the order on your Web browser that you may print out if you wish to keep a written confirmation of your order. After your order is confirmed, your little duckies are all primed and ready for the Race!
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Q: What happens on Race Day?

A: This is when the fun begins. There are bands and fun at the starting line prior to the start of the Duck Race. At 1pm, thousands of rubber ducks, one for each adoption, are released from a cage and dropped into Fall River. The river runs yellow with ducks! You can follow the ducks down the river for about 2 ½ miles to the finish line and watch the speedy ducks win Prizes! As the ducks cross the finish line, a volunteer crew fishes the winners out of the river and begins a real-time posting of the winners and Prizes. This action continues amidst many family fun activities at the finish line until all the Prizes (many hundreds of Prizes) have been awarded. Depending on the condition of the river, the Race may take anywhere from 1-4 hours from start to finish. After the Duck Race is over, the list of winners and Prizes will be posted on this website and at the Rotary Club of Estes Park website portal. Certificates and other material regarding the Prizes will be mailed via USPS mail to the winners.
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Q: Do I have to be present to win?

A:
No. All winners will be notified by mail by the Rotary Club.
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Q: What are my chances of winning a Prize?


A:
Your chances depend on how many ducks are adopted and how many Prizes are to be awarded. As a rule of thumb, your chances of winning a Prize are about 1 chance in 7 but this is only an approximation and is not guaranteed.
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Q: What happens if the weather is bad?

A:
The Duck Race didn’t raise any wimpy duckies! The Race is held in all kinds of weather and river conditions. It’s best to dress in layers since the weather can and will vary all over the place.
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Q: How can I become a Major Sponsor / Charitable Organization / Merchant / Volunteer for the Duck Race next year?


A:
We love to have people involved! Please contact us at DuckRace@RotaryClubOfEstesPark.org and we’ll talk about it.
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Q: What is the “To credit your seller, enter his or her name (optional)” about?

A: If you wish to credit your seller with your Adoption, please fill in the name and that name will appear on the report provided to the organization. An example is if you selected Eagle Rock School, the name that you wish to credit is Jane Doe, Jane Doe’s name will be provided with your generous adoption. This feature supports organizations that wish to recognize their seller’s efforts. If you don’t know or don’t have a seller’s name, your donation will go to the organization you selected.
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