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Duck Derby 2017

Alijah Tokarz looks for his duck during the Auburn Kiwanis Memorial Day Duck Derby in Auburn in 2017.

From rubber ducks to food trucks, Memorial Day weekend in downtown Auburn will be as busy as ever.

First will be the 21st annual Majorpalooza festival, taking place Sunday, May 27.

The event will begin with the Catch Me If You Can 5K run/walk at 8:30 a.m. and the Stefanak Sprint at 9:45 a.m. Both will start in front of Memorial City Hall, 24 South St., Auburn. This year, the registration fee has been waived for runners 18 and younger. However, all runners must still register. For more information about registration, email

The main festival, which takes place along Genesee Street between Route 34 and State Street, will begin with food and beverage sales at 10 a.m. Food will be served by Villano's and the Cucina Crew of the local Cultural Italian American Organization, as well as food trucks Wolf's Patio Pizza and Potatoes and Molasses. Craft and domestic beer and wine will be sold (to ages 21 and older) by Prison City Pub & Brewery. All food and beverage sales can be made in cash; there is no ticketing system. Cab fare home will also be provided to anyone who needs it.

Children's entertainment at Majorpalooza will include Nate the Great from 10 to 11 a.m., activities with the Auburn Doubledays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and magic, balloon animals and face painting from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Local artists, crafters and nonprofit vendors will also showcase and sell products and services throughout the day.

The schedule of musical entertainment on the Showmobile stage includes student collective Perform 4 Purpose from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., acoustic duo Cait & Austin from 1 to 3 p.m., Wicked Awesome (members of Syracuse band Scars 'n' Stripes) from 3 to 6 p.m. and Skaneateles party band Mere Mortals from 6 to 9 p.m. There will also be an "Auburn Idol" competition held by the BluePrint II junior high leadership program at Auburn Public Theater, and the winning performers will be showcased between acts on the Showmobile stage.

Proceeds from Majorpalooza will support its mission of raising awareness and support for children in the central New York area who are underprivileged, disabled or affected by life-threatening or terminal medical conditions. Majorpalooza also assists youth programs in the community, organizer Chris Major said in a news release. For more information, visit

On Monday, May 28, Memorial Day will be observed in downtown Auburn with its annual parade, which begins at 11 a.m. on East Genesee Street. The parade will proceed west toward Veterans Memorial Park, where there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at approximately noon, as well as a performance by the Auburn Civic Band.

As the parade ends, the ducks will come swimming in when the Auburn Kiwanis Club hosts its 30th annual Duck Derby. The finish line for the Owasco River race is located at the North Street bridge near Market Street Park, where there will also be music by Goodtime Charlie's Mobile Entertainment until 3 p.m. and hot dogs for sale by the Knights of Columbus to raise money for the organization.

Ducks can be purchased for $5, and cash prizes of up to $3,000 will go to the holder of the tickets to the nine ducks that finish the race first, as well as the one that finishes last. For more information, visit or call Lisa Carr at (315) 252-2571.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the Owasco River on Loop Road, the city's Food Truck Rodeo returns for its second year. Taking place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the event will feature Phat Kat Tacos, Wolf's Patio Pizza, Silo Food Truck and the New York State Fair award-winning Tonzi's Catering Co. There will also be a performance by DownBeat Percussion, the official drumline of the Buffalo Bills.

For more information on any of downtown Auburn's Memorial Day weekend events, call (315) 252-7874 or visit

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Lake Life Editor David Wilcox can be reached at (315) 282-2245 or Follow him on Twitter @drwilcox.


Features editor for The Citizen.