Final Preps for Duck Derby Underway

Final Preps for Duck Derby Underway

There will be a race of a different kind this weekend for Commander Christmas.
The site of the Ouachita River Duck Derby
The site of the Ouachita River Duck Derby
There will be a race of a different kind this weekend for Commander Christmas. Thousands of rubber ducks will be released into the Ouachita River. Final prep work is underway for the Duck Derby.

Very Merry Commander Christmas committee members have anticipated the big day, Saturday. Organizers have sold thousands of rubber ducks for the event.

"Right now we're at about 9000 which leaves about 1000 left for sales on the day of the event," mentioned Brook Sebren, Commander Christmas committee member.

Ducks are running out thanks to big success with sales both online and regional businesses.

As of Friday evening, the ducks have all been counted and boxed. They'll be delivered to the river for Saturday's race.

People are paying to adopt a rubber duck that will be a part of Saturday's Duck Derby race down the Ouachita River.

"We've had calls from all across the country with people confused about how they can get their duck and how they can make sure it's getting into the river," said Sebren. "We're actually taking care of all of that for you."

Commander Christmas staff will be present at the Monroe River Market on Saturday using heavy equipment to drop all of the ducks in the water at once.

"People will be able to watch the drop there," said Sebren. "The MC will have a live countdown. You'll be able to see a big piece of equipment over the bridge and the food bank van. It'll reach out there and it'll have a big bucket. And that bucket will turn whenever the time runs out and dump all those ducks in there."

Then it's off to the races from the Endom Bridge to the River Market finish line to be collected by a 100-foot boom.

"They'll follow the current down and hopefully all of them will hit that boom," said Sebren. "I'm sure we'll have some stragglers along the way. And then after the winning ducks are chosen the booms will close themselves"

Organizers said the ducks should take about 10 to 20 minutes based on trial runs to complete the race, hoping a slow river current won't become a concern.

If you still want a piece of the action, there's still time to adopt a duck from 10am to 1pm at the River Market on Saturday.

"There will be about 1000 left," Sebren mentioned. "So you need to get there as soon as you can. They're five dollars a duck and they're available for purchase on the spot. And when they're out they're out. So hopefully everyone gets there as soon as they can.

Since it'll their first time dumping thousands of ducks into the water, organizers say they have their fingers crossed that everything goes as planned. The adopter of the winning duck gets a grand tour of the Duck Commander facility.
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