Facebook

Everything will be 'ducky' at Reedy River Falls

Published on Monday, April 30, 2012

Enlarge photo

The Reedy River Duck Derby draws a good crowd to the annual event held at the Falls in downtown Greenville.

The Reedy River Duck Derby draws a good crowd to the annual event held at the Falls in downtown Greenville.



Enlarge photo

A sea of yellow ducks sporting sunglasses float down the Reedy River Falls. They will be colleceted in a funnel set up by environmental remediation company.

A sea of yellow ducks sporting sunglasses float down the Reedy River Falls. They will be colleceted in a funnel set up by environmental remediation company.

About 10,000 ducks are expected Saturday at the Reedy River Duck Derby at Reedy River Falls. The event, originally was dubbed the Ken-Ducky Derby, because it is scheduled the same day as the Kentucky Derby. It has since changed its name to tie it more closely to Greenville.

Ann Golden, who has lived in Greenville for the past 32 years, is a charter member of the Rotary Club of Greenville Evening and is this year's organizer. The club has produced the event for the past eight years with its proceeds benefitting children.

The festivities begin at 10 a.m. at the Falls park in downtown Greenville. The race starts at 2:30 p.m. and begins at the Main Street bridge. Proceeds benefit the Mauldin Miracle League, Greenville Area Interfaith Hospitality Network, EarlyAct FirstKnight, and other charities.

All the ducks will be numbered by the Rotary Club. After being released, they go over the falls and are colleceted in a funnel set up by environmental remediation company HEPACO. "We don't want to lose any." said Golden, considering each duck can be purchased for $5 (6 in a Quack Pack for $25), "and we also don't want to pollute the river."

The Bent Strings, a folk band out of Taylors, will be playing on a stage set up by the bridge, and the Rotary Club has come up with a new dance called the "Duck Strut" they hope catches on.

The Mauldin Miracle League, comprised of disabled children that otherwise wouldn't get the opportunity, will play a baseball game on the field by the Upstate Shakespeare Festival stage.

There will balloon artists, face painters, magicians, games, hoola-hooping, and displays from the Pendleton Street Artist Group. Memorabilia, like T-shirts and hats, will be for sale. Golden is hoping for 7,000-8,000 people this year, about the same as last year. If it rains, well, "ducks are used to water."

Golden says the recession has made it harder to attract sponsors these last four years. That's required getting clever with advertising. The last few weeks the derby's mascot Quacky, a giant duck wearing sunglasses, has had a "Nest of the Day" around town.

Radio station B93.7 has been having a daily contest, with people calling in if they know where Quacky is that day, and winners receive a Quack Pack. Meanwhile, for the first time an Entercom Communications class at Furman University has been handling the PR, with special focus on social networking with Facebook and Twitter pages, a relative new practice for the Rotary Club. 

The Grand Prize is groceries for a year at Publix, second place is tuition fees for the Park Place Children's Center, third place is opal and silver jewelry from SpiritHawks Studios, and fourth place is a zike. Prizes such as hotel rooms, carwashes, Greenville Drive and Upcountry History Museum tickets will be awarded the first 40 finishers.

Golden is the treasurer and secretary of Golden Career Strategies, a business her husband of 40 years started, which helps people and organizations with career transition and development. Golden became interested in Rotary through her husband, who is former president of the Greenville Rotary Club.

The Duck Derby idea originated from a similiar event in Cartersville, Ga., but it's become common all over country. The start of the Duck Derby accompanied the recreation of Falls Park in 2003, which in many ways reinvigorated the city of Greenville. After the Camperdown Bridge was removed, 20 acres of gardens were developed to showcase the Reedy River Falls. This included the construction of a 355-foot-long, 12-foot-wide, curved suspension bridge, which has become a main attraction.

Derby Ducks can be adopted at http://www.reedyriverduckderby.com/. 

Share



Leave a Comment



Trending: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, Obituaries, Chon Restaurant, Allen Bennett Hospital