Charities will meet on Zoom on March 3 – Estes Park Trail-Gazette

Sixty-six local nonprofits and charities have been invited to attend the annual Duck Race Launch Party on Thursday, March 3 to receive instruction on duck adoption sales for the Duck Race Festival Estes Park Rotary 2022. Kickoff Night was originally intended to be an in-person event, but has now been changed to Zoom-only, to avoid having a large group meeting indoors due to concerns to COVID.

The duck race itself, scheduled for May 7, is still scheduled as a live, in-person event with thousands of little yellow rubber ducks racing down the Fall River, starting at Nicky’s Steakhouse Restaurant and Nicky’s Resort, and continuing ending at the George Hix Riverside Plaza.

The launch party will begin at 6 p.m. The Duck Racing Festival committee encourages each of the 66 participating organizations to have at least one representative at the meeting, as several new duck adoption processes will be introduced.

“We will be using a new online platform this year with features that will make online sales easier and more personal for every organization,” said 2022 “Big Duck” Beth Weisberg. “People will be able to adopt ducks on their cell phones, iPads and other devices. And after the launch party, we will provide in-person support to any participating organization that needs help finding the best way to sell adoptions online. ducks to their supporters. All of this will be explained during Kickoff Night.

“Excitement is building for the 2022 event, and our Race Committee is ready to support duck adoption sales. We want to help our organizations increase sales so they can achieve great results,” said said Larry Williams, president of the duck racing organizations.

The Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival website ( will launch online sales March 3 following the launch party.

Also new this year, each participating organization will provide at least one volunteer to help out on race day. Volunteer information will be collected at the launch party so that work assignments can be made.

Estes Park’s annual Rotary Duck Race Festival kicks off at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, with the Estes Park Running Club’s Duck Waddle 5K, a fun family run and run. Major sponsors of the Duck Race Festival will welcome duck fans to the George Hix Memorial Riverside Plaza at 10 a.m., where there will be interactive activities and duck adoption sales until 1 p.m. Live music and other entertainment at Riverside Plaza and Nicky’s will add a lively flair to festival activities. The official 1 p.m. Duck Drop at Nicky’s will begin the race, when the yellow rubber ducks enter the Fall River and float approximately two miles to downtown Riverside Plaza. There they will be pulled out of the river by volunteers and cheered on by the crowd at the finish line. Each adopted duck is assigned a number and hundreds of prizes will be awarded. The designated sponsor of this year’s Duck Race Festival is Claire’s Restaurant and Bar.

This year’s first prize will be $8,000 cash, with second and third cash prizes of $5,000 and $2,000 respectively. Additionally, lead sponsor Delaware North Parks & Resorts, Inc. will be offering two vacation packages that include stays and activities at their properties, one to Yellowstone National Park and the other to Glacier National Park. Delaware North is the parent company of The Ridgeline Hotel.

For every duck adopted for $22, the charity selected on the online adoption form will receive $19. A portion of the balance will be used to pay the online platform provider’s fees, and the remainder will be retained by the Rotary Club of Estes Park to offset the operational costs of next year’s Duck Race Festival.

“The primary purpose of the Rotary Duck Race Festival is to provide people with an opportunity to support participating organizations that provide vital services to those who live in the Estes Valley,” Weisberg said. “The 66 charities and non-profits participating in this year’s Duck Race help fulfill their own missions by selling duck adoptions, and they receive a significant benefit in return for their group that is commensurate with their efforts. For some of our participating organizations, the duck race is their biggest fundraiser of the year. The rules of the Duck Race are simple: Adopt a duck. Maybe win a great prize. And above all, support a cause that is close to your heart.

The 2021 Duck Race raised $118,579 for 65 organizations providing non-profit or charitable services in the Estes Valley, and brought the total funds raised over the event’s 33-year history to just under $3 million. Social media will help spread the word. To help this effort, the Duck Race Festival has a Facebook presence to promote adoptions at

Questions? Email [email protected] The Zoom meeting link to attend the launch party is

The Rotary Duck Race Festival at Estes Park is held annually on the first Saturday in May. The annual duck race continues a tradition started in 1989, which has raised nearly $3 million for local Estes Park charities and groups. 2022 marks the 34th annual duck race.

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