20,000 ducks are bought (with proceeds going to BBBS), then hoisted high above the Kanawha Canal and ceremoniously dumped…
Thousands cheer the from the banks of Belle Isle and the winning duck is plucked from the soup and wins a car.
I always wondered what happened to the ducks afterwards. How do they scoop them back up, as not to litter the river? Do they re-use the ducks? Do they ever lose any ducks? Has any duck ever gotten away and swam to freedom?
After checking, I found that BBBS organizers scoop them out at the end of the race. Check. They do re-use the ducks. Check. They do lose a couple every year.
How do I know? Taking a canal boat tour last week with my fellow Madison+Main-iacs, our captain astutely noticed a duck floating in the canal, near the Holocaust Museum, and quickly fetched the little rascal.
After extensive cleaning, we present “Rocky,” the Duck Race survivor that was left behind for 5 months in the murky waters of the canal.
Should we keep him? Should we give him back to Big Brothers, Big Sisters? Should we win a car?