Duck Race News

Duck Race Organizations To Meet February 29 For 2024 Adoption Sales Kickoff

Sixty-three charitable organizations have been approved by the Duck Race Committee to participate in the 2024 Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival. These organizations have been invited to attend the annual Duck Race Kick-off Night on Thursday, February 29 to be briefed on the race and some exciting changes in store for the 2024 race.

The Kick-off Night begins at 5:00 p.m. at The Ridgeline Hotel, 101 South St. Vrain Ave. The Duck Race Festival Committee encourages each of the 63 organizations to send a representative to the meeting. Although the duck adoption process will be similar to that used in 2023 there are always tweaks and improvements to the system that organizations need to be aware of.

“The excitement is building for the 2024 event. Once again all sales will be online and our race committee is ready to support sales by our participating organizations. Online sales have been a big part of the growth of the race in the past two years. 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 1, 2024, online adoptions can be made through the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival website. The Facebook page will be also up and running on March 1. We encourage all participating organizations to contact their supporters, friends, and family to get a flock of ducks adopted in the name of their organization!

Major sponsors and participating organizations will welcome duck fans to George Hix Memorial Riverside Plaza at 10 a.m. on race day, where there will be interactive activities and duck adoption sales right up to the duck drop at 1:00 p.m. We will have live music at Riverside Plaza and the Wapiti Colorado Pub (formerly Nicky’s Steakhouse) to add a lively flair to the festival activities. For the first time we will also have a drum circle and performance at Bond Park as well as other child-centered activities at that venue.

The official duck drop at 1 p.m. at Nicky’s Resort will start the race. Thousands of little yellow rubber ducks will drop into Fall River and float about two-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 to those duck adopters whose ducks are among the first 300 finishers.

This year’s major prize will be $10,000 in cash, with second and third place cash prizes of $6,000 and $4,000 respectively. In addition, major sponsor Delaware North Parks & Resorts, Inc. will provide a vacation package that includes a stay and activities at NOVA Guides resort in the Vail Valley. Delaware North is the parent company of The Ridgeline Hotel.

For every duck adopted online for $25, the charity indicated on the adoption form will receive $23. The other $2 is retained by the Rotary Club of Estes Park to offset operational costs of the Duck Race Festival. Adoptions may 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 charitable organizations who provide vital services to those people living and visiting in the Estes Valley”, said 2024 ‘Big Duck’ Scott Robbins. “The 63 charitable and nonprofit organizations participating in this year’s Duck Race help achieve their missions by selling duck adoptions. For many organizations, this is their largest fundraiser of the year. The rules of the Duck Race are simple: go to the website and adopt ducks! You might win an awesome prize and most importantly, support a cause that you care about!”

The 2023 race returned $194,635 to 65 organizations providing non-profit or charitable services in the Estes Valley. This was a 20% increase over funds raised in 2022. The total funds raised in the 35-year history of the event is over $3 million!

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