Duck Race News

Ballet, folk, and waddle await Duck Race fans

The Rotary Duck Race is just a few days away, so it’s time to plan your Virtual Race Day fun. The day takes flight with the 9 a.m. Duck Waddle, a 5K sponsored by the Estes Park Running Club that will encircle Lake Estes. Before the little yellow rubber ducks hit the water, be sure to tune in to the Pre-Flight Show at noon, featuring clips from historic race day footage, an appearance by Lucky Duck and recognition of Major Sponsors. Next up, at 12:40 p.m., the live event coverage begins from the Lazy River at the Estes Valley Community Center. Adoption sales end at 1 p.m. The ducks will race starting around 1:15 p.m. Major Prize winners will be announced as the first five ducks reach the finish line. All other prize winners will be posted on by 5 p.m.

The event will be live-streamed for viewing on YouTube, Facebook and TDS Channel 8/108 – The Rocky Mountain Channel. No in-person attendance by the general public will be permitted.
Special moments will include several songs by singer/songwriter Cowboy Brad Fitch, a favorite of Race Day crowds, as well as an enchanting performance of Duck Lake by Ballet Renaissance.

“It’s my great pleasure to once again be part of our town’s annual Rotary Club Duck Race,” said Fitch. “With the help of Sean Doherty from Nick Mollé Productions, we have been able to contribute to the virtual event this year. I encourage everyone to participate in the Estes Park Duck Race, which helps so many organizations and individuals in our community.”

The Ballet Renaissance Ducky Ballerinas have delighted Race Day fans since 2013 with their performances along the Duck Race route and are happy to be part of the 2021 live-stream.

“Ballet Renaissance is pleased to support this year’s annual Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival livestream with an original performance of Duck Lake,” said Brianna Furnish, Ballet Renaissance supporter and children’s ballet instructor. “Inspired by the traditional characters and choreography of Swan Lake, Duck Lake, produced by Nick Mollé Productions, features select Ballet Renaissance students, along with a cameo appearance by Rotary’s very own Lucky Duck. Ballet Renaissance extends a special thank you to Leslie Glover and Mark Holdt, who hosted three outdoor rehearsals, and film day for the performance. Here’s to a great race.”

According to Big Duck ‘21 Bill Solms, Race Day promises to be memorable because many volunteers have waddled up to join in the feathered fun.
“Please do not miss the ‘Mystery of Lucky Duck’ and the performance of our middle school volunteers that will ‘mix it up’ in the Lazy River,” Solms said. “Special appearances by mariachi ducks, first responder ducks, and various medical duck personnel will dare the raging waters of the river to distract the creatures appearing within in order to free our race ducks to seek the finish line!”
The global pandemic has affected traditional Estes Park events, but the Duck Race Committee anticipates that the live-stream broadcast will appeal to all Duck Race fans.

“This year’s Duck Race shows how resilient the members of Rotary can be during times like these,” Solms said. “But Rotary could not succeed in its mission to support the Town and its non-profit organizations that put their energies into all aspects of this event without the vital contributions from our Major Sponsors, the athletes from the Estes Valley Runners Club, the Renaissance Ballet and its choreographic talent, our local and talented Brad Fitch, businesses providing merchant prizes, and so on. There is no shortage of enthusiasm. Our first responders have been some of the most prolific duck adoption promoters! A special shout-out to Mayor Koenig, Fire Chief David Wolf from Estes Valley Fire Protection District, the neighboring Fire District departments participating, as well as Kurtis Kelly and Scott Thompson, our Race Day Masters of Ceremonies. Join us on Race Day, May 1st, starting at noon Mountain Time. You will be glad you did.”

To be a part of the day, plan to adopt a duck or a flock by logging onto All adoptions are being handled online. A full schedule of the day’s events is also available on
The Duck Waddle begins at 9 a.m. near the Estes Park Parking Structure and follows the Lake Estes Trail. Details are available on