Duck Race News

Charities to meet March 3rd

Sixty-six organizations have been invited to pick up packets of Duck Race adoption forms Thursday, March 3 and receive instructions on sales. These clubs and nonprofits have been chosen as participating organizations for the 2022 Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival.

Distribution Night begins at 6 p.m. at The Ridgeline Hotel, 101 South St. Vrain Ave. The Duck Race Festival Committee encourages each of the 66 organizations to send a representative to the meeting, as there are a number of new processes this year that will be presented.

“The excitement is building for the 2022 event, and our race committee is ready to support sales, both online and in-person. We want to help our organizations increase their adoption sales so they can see great results,” said Larry Williams, Duck Race Committee member in charge of organizations.

Beginning Friday, March 4, 2022, groups will begin distributing paper adoption forms and encouraging their members and friends to adopt ducks. The Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival website and Facebook page will launch online sales March 4 in tandem with paper sales.

The annual Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, with the Estes Park Running Club’s Duck Waddle 5K, a family fun run and race. Major sponsors of the Duck Race Festival will welcome duck fans to George Hix Memorial Riverside Plaza at 10 a.m., where there will be interactive activities and duck adoption sales until 12:30 p.m. Live music at Riverside Plaza, as well as at Nicky’ Steakhouse, will add a lively flair to the festival activities. The official duck drop at 1 p.m. at Nicky’s will start the race, when thousands of little yellow rubber ducks will enter Fall River and float about 2 miles to Riverside Plaza downtown. There, they will be pulled out of the river by volunteers and cheered by the finish line crowd. Each adopted duck is assigned a number, and hundreds of prizes will be awarded.

This year’s major prize will be $8,000 in cash, with second and third cash prizes of $5,000 and $2,000 respectively. In addition, major sponsor Delaware North Parks & Resorts, Inc. will provide two vacation packages that include stays and activities at their properties, one at Yellowstone National Park and one at Glacier National Park. Delaware North is the parent company of The Ridgeline Hotel.

For every duck adopted with a paper form for $20, the charity indicated on the adoption form will receive $19. The other $1 is retained by the Rotary Club of Estes Park to offset operational costs of next year’s Duck Race Festival. Adoptions may also be purchased online and charged to a credit card or PayPal at with a nominal processing fee.

“The main purpose of the Rotary Duck Race Festival is to give people an opportunity to support the participating organizations who provide vital services to those who live in the Estes Valley, said 2022 ‘Big Duck’ Beth Weisberg. “The 66 charitable and nonprofit organizations participating in this year’s Duck Race help achieve their own missions by selling duck adoptions, and they receive a considerable benefit back to their group that is commensurate to their efforts. The rules of the Duck Race are simple: adopt a duck. Maybe win an awesome prize. And most importantly, support a cause that you care about.”

The 2021 race returned $118,579 to 65 organizations providing non-profit or charitable services in the Estes Valley, and brought the total funds raised in the 33-year history of the event to just under $3 million.

To help this effort, the Duck Race Festival has a Facebook presence to propel adoptions at