Typically, grownups don’t get that excited about rubber ducks. But once a year in Telluride, grownups get very, very excited about them—cheering, screaming, and watching them race down the San Miguel River in a unique event for KOTO community radio.
The Annual Duck Race this year is held Aug. 5, but if you want to participate, you need to get your ducks in a row before then. Contact KOTO or sign up on Main Street to get your very own rubber ducky, and one of the “racers” will be assigned your name. Prizes are awarded for the fastest floater (the first duck to hit the finish line) and the most precise duck (the first one to hit the hole in the finish line) and for several of the next-place finishers. The grand prize is a Telluride Ski & Golf Resort ski pass for 2016-17, and there are lots of other great things to win: festival tickets, outdoor gear, gift certificates for restaurants and hotels.
The festivities begin when the entire flock gets dumped into the San Miguel River on the east end of town. You can try to spot your own duck and then follow its progress along the river trail to the finish, or tune in to KOTO to hear the live broadcast of this one-of-a-kind race. It is surprisingly dramatic to watch them float, sometimes eddying out to the side or getting trapped in the willows along the route. Winners are announced live at the finish.
The Duck Race is a hilarious and fun community event. It’s also a great way to support local, commercial-free radio without getting your feet wet, and if you’re a lucky duck, you might also win a prize.