AUBURN | For the 24th consecutive year, 6,000 yellow rubber ducks will be dumped into the Owasco River for a race to the finish line, making 10 lucky people winners of cash and other prizes.
People can purchase tickets with numbers that correspond to numbers on the ducks in local stores displaying bright yellow signs or at stands on the day of the Auburn Kiwanis Duck Derby — the traditional downtown Memorial Day duck race. The first nine and the very last of the 6,000 ducks will be winners, according to the Kiwanis website.
Prizes for the lucky ticket-holders are as follows: first duck, $3,000; second duck, $2,000; third duck, $1,000; fourth duck, $500; fifth duck, a YMCA WEIU one-year Family
Health Center membership; sixth duck, a diving course by Finger Lakes Diving; seventh duck $250; eighth duck, $250; ninth duck, $100; last duck, $100.
Not only will the 10 lucky purchasers of the 10 lucky ducks be winners, but so will almost 30 local agencies that help the less fortunate and especially children, said Pamela Anderegg, president of the Kiwanis Club of Auburn.
“We raise money for agencies that serve children in need,” she said. “All are local, from the library to Cayuga Centers (formerly Cayuga Home for Children).”
Ken Knight, Duck Derby chairman, said usually around $25,000 is raised for the agencies.
“Everybody has a good time and I always say everybody’s a winner,” Knight said. “We’re really keen again this year to help out the community.”
The Duck Derby will follow the Memorial Day Parade, which will snake through downtown Auburn along Genesee Street, which is usually packed with spectators.
The parade starts at 11 a.m. with a Memorial Day service following in Veterans Memorial Park. The parade lineup in past years has included fire trucks, police cars, city and county officials, local and area veterans organizations, antique and classic cars, and original floats.
“The theme is always for the veterans,” said Erica Turner, an account clerk with the Auburn Department of Public Works. “Any of our groups in the parade, we let them know the priority of the parade is to honor the veterans. We ask all organizations involved in the parade to be as patriotic as possible.