P’ville Duck Race on Sunday to Raise Funds for Village Swim Team
Pleasantville residents might notice some very unique ducks floating down the creek next Sunday near the village pool.
The third annual Pleasantville Duck Race is the brainchild of village Trustee Steven Lord, a board member for the Pleasantville Swim Team, a summer recreation program for children 6 to 18 years old who are village residents. Lord grew up watching large scale duck races in his hometown in Vermont. Participants could buy a duck with a number on the bottom, and those who held the number of the winning duck won a prize.
The Pleasantville race, however, takes a different and more creative approach. Participants can “adopt” a duck for $5 or a family of five ducks for $20 and bring the ducks home to decorate.
“We believe that the kids have so much fun decorating the things and the imagination and the creativity from the people you see creating these little ducks is really cool,” Lord said.
Since the inaugural event in 2012, Lord said he has seen ducks dressed up as Queen Elizabeth and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and many other characters.
As the ducks race along the creek that flows toward the village pool on Lake Street, volunteers line the course giving the rubber competitors “love nudges” to ensure they don’t get stuck. The owner of the duck that crosses the finish line first will win an iPad, while the second-place finisher earns its owner an iPod.
But there are a number of opportunities for everybody to claim a victory. In addition to awarding prizes to the first two ducks to finish the race, the competition offers smaller prizes for best dressed duck, ducks that finish the race upside-down and even the duck that finishes last.
Last year, more than 400 people turned out. This year, Lord said about 700 spectators and participants are expected. More than a week before the event, about 500 ducks had already been adopted. All ducks must be registered to race by 11:15 a.m. on Sunday. The race begins at 11:30 a.m.
The race is sponsored by the swim team, which receives all the proceeds to help offset the cost of invitational meets, team clothing and minor pool improvements that are not paid for by the village.
Lord, who has served on the swim team’s board for several years, said that the team is the only squad that is primarily funded through the village budget. The duck race helps to reduce the amount of money the village must pay to keep the team functioning, he said.
“It’s just a fantastic activity for the town,” Lord said. “It’s one of those things that I think should be supported as much as we can do it because it is a unity activity; not just the duck race, but the swim team in general.”
Prior to the start of the race, the Pleasantville swim team will be hosting a free swim clinic for local residents. Older swimmers and coaches will help children learn critical and potentially lifesaving swimming skills through a variety of games and activities that allow participants to have fun while they learn.
For more information about the duck race or the free swim clinic, visit www.pleasantvilleswimteam.com.
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