Duck Race News

Theme, prizes unveiled for 2019 Estes Park Duck Race

The Fall River may be crusted with ice, but the 2019 Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival is just around the bend. The Duck Race Festival Committee has just unveiled this year’s race theme and major prizes. The list of charities and groups that will benefit is complete, the roster of major and associate sponsors finalized.

The 2019 event on Saturday, May 4 will capture the adventure of life in the Rockies and features mascot Lucky Duck decked out in hiking gear. The Festival will offer expanded activities at Nicky’s Steakhouse and George Hix Memorial Riverside Plaza, and a Duck Waddle 5K sponsored by the Estes Park Running Club. The Estes Park Rotary’s Friendship Card, a fundraising and discount program, will be offered for sale for the first time on Race Day. Interactive games for the kids, live music, merchandise sales, the Friendship Card, and thousands of plastic ducks floating toward the finish line will combine to make the Festival fun for all ages, said 2019 ‘Big Duck’ Kathy Groesbeck.

“This is The Rotary Club of Estes Park’s largest fundraising and ‘fun-raising’ event, a not-to-be missed Saturday in the mountains,” Groesbeck said.

The 2019 event will feature a major cash prize and three getaway packages with accommodations donated by Delaware North Parks and Resorts and airfare donated by the Estes Park Duck Race.

  • Grand Prize $5,000 cash.
  • Trip to The Pine Lodge, Whitefish, Montana, located on the doorstep of majestic Glacier National Park. The resort offers comfortable year-round accommodations for guests traveling through Whitefish, Montana. This facility is situated alongside the Whitefish River, with many rooms boasting views of the surrounding mountain tops. Glacier National Park is a mere 25 miles away, offering an abundance of recreational opportunities.
  • Trip to Tenaya Lodge, Fish Camp, California, a stunning mountain resort set two miles from Yosemite National Park and surrounded by noble evergreen forest. Tenaya Lodge is an all-season resort featuring lodge rooms and cottage rooms, a rich range of recreational activities, a 10,000 square-foot luxury spa, indoor and outdoor pools and five dining venues located on the property.
  • Trip to Old Faithful Cabin, West Yellowstone, Montana. Clustered in five camp settings, this 50-cabin property provides a sense of community without compromising privacy. The Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone combine the charm of cabin lodging with the joys of generational travel and dog-friendly travel. Open year-round, the Old Faithful Cabin is minutes from the Park’s West Entrance and a short drive from Old Faithful.


“Everyone loves to take a vacation, and we want to help with some great choices this year,” Groesbeck said. “The trip prizes will certainly add to the excitement for our fans.”

The reason for the race? To help 67 Estes Valley groups and charities. Adopt ducks now.

“I am very excited about the number and quality of the organizations we will be supporting this year,” said Larry Williams, Duck Race Festival Committee member who coordinated selection of beneficiaries.  “We are welcoming some new charities and look forward to their participation.”

The generosity of major and associate sponsors makes the race possible, said Bill Solms, who led the sponsorship effort. A major sponsor contributes $500 or more in cash or services to support race prizes. An associate sponsor kicks in $100 in cash or services. The names of paid major sponsors appear on all Duck Race posters, adoption forms and on the race website. Posters and adoption forms will soon appear, both designed by local artist Tim Buck.

The goal for 2019 is to raise $130,000 or more for local groups and charities, Groesbeck said. For each $20 adoption form sold, $19 goes to the beneficiaries. In the past 29 years, the Estes Park Duck Race has returned more than $2.6 million to the Estes Valley.