Rubber ducky, you’re the oneSesame Street’s Ernie, singer of “Rubber Ducky,” would surely approve.
Sesame Street’s Ernie, singer of “Rubber Ducky,” would surely approve.
The annual Minnehaha Rubber Duck Derby will be held May 30 at the Knife River Bridge along with the Minnehaha Elementary end-of-the-year picnic at the Knife River Recreation Center.
The event, which celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, is a fundraiser for the Minnehaha Parent Teacher Association, which uses the money to help provide free family-friendly events like dances and movie nights. The PTA also helps supplement the costs of field trips for Minnehaha Elementary students.
Former Minnehaha PTA member and current Rubber Duck Derby consultant Melanie Ross said her husband originally came up with the idea when he spotted an article in Reader’s Digest about the derbies. After conducting more research, Ross decided to bring up the idea with the PTA.
“The PTA is great and they embraced the idea,” said Ross.
Ross says there were some unforeseen complications with her plan.
“The first year is really funny. I wondered: Are you allowed to dump stuff in the river? I just called the DNR and said I’d like to book the river. There was a pause, and they said: ‘Can I put you on hold?’ ” said Ross. The DNR gave Ross their approval to hold the derby as long as the ducks came back out of Knife River.
Ross said she also found out that all rubber ducks are not created equal. Ross said the first ducks she bought for the derby were not the right kind. “They didn’t float upright. There is a special type of duck you have to buy that floats like that,” she said.
Nowadays, Ross estimates the PTA owns about 1,000 rubber ducks that float upright for the derby’s two races. PTA member and Rubber Duck Derby organizer Chrissy Libal says the derby ducks are numbered. Tickets are sold with matching numbers and the person whose ticket matches the winning duck wins the derby. Prizes for the derby include an iPad and a Kindle for the long race and an iPod Touch and a $100 gift certificate to the Edge.
Libal, the parent of two Minnehaha Elementary School students, says this is her third year participating in the planning of the event. This year, members of the Two Harbors Fire Department will catch the ducks at the finish line.
“The kids really get into it,” Libal said. “They go down to the bank and cheer the ducks on.”
Since the Rubber Duck Derby coincides with the Minnehaha Elementary School end-of-the-year picnic, other fun events occur — like three-legged races, wheelbarrow races and water balloon events.
Rubber Duck Derby ducks are being sold at Super 1, the Lake Bank, the Two Harbors Federal Credit Union, and Coop Light and Power and other establishments around Two Harbors. The beginning of the duck sale started last week and will continue up to 15 minutes before the race. The price is $5 for one duck, or $25 for a “six-quack.”
Ross said she loves the event and that it’s hard to walk away from even though her children are older and no longer attend Minnehaha Elementary.
“It’s so much fun and it’s one of those things that people ask if we really do this,” she said.
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