Duck Race News

Estes Park Rotary Duck Race moves to all-online sales

Estes Park Rotary Duck Race moves to all-online sales

Ducks hope to paddle for charities in mid-September

By Rita DuChateau, Rotary Club of Estes Park

Planning for a large fundraising event during a global pandemic has presented a few challenges for the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival committee. While many spring and summer events have been canceled statewide, the overwhelming benefit to the Estes Valley of the annual Duck Race has kept the committee paddling along.

Rotary’s belief in service has propelled the effort to reschedule the event to a time when it can be held safely. Originally set for Saturday, May 2, the new goal has changed to mid-September. Participating Organizations have been notified of the move to all-online sales to protect the safety of the many volunteers who traditionally process and handle paper Adoption Forms, checks and cash. Flexibility on the details of the event is an overriding consideration, so fans should be prepared for the possibility of a “virtual” race.

At the head of the flock for this year’s event is Karen Thompson. She has convened Webex and email meetings of her committee and kept the large group focused on the goal: supporting 67 Participating Organizations, especially during this time of need.

“We are waiting for approval from the Town and Fire Protection District to hold the race mid-September,” Thompson explained. “We are hopeful restrictions will be lifted and we can safely run a great race on Fall River. If not, we have ‘Plan B’ in place and can run a virtual race. Everyone’s safety is of utmost importance, and that will be the deciding factor for a live or virtual race.”

The online-only sales began April 17 and will continue through Race Day. Adoptions ($22 per duck) are handled at

While the race may look different and the method of purchasing adoptions has been simplified for safety, the goal of service to the community has never wavered.

“We so appreciate the flexibility of all the participating organizations. This pandemic hasn’t been easy on anyone, and I’m sure fundraising efforts have been no exception,” Thompson said.

Last year’s Duck Race raised $128,700 for 67 community organizations. Over 6,700 ducks were adopted. In the past 31 years, the Estes Park Duck Race has returned more than $2.7 million to Estes Valley organizations that serve residents of all ages.

Questions? Email  or call 970-480-5002.