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Estes Park Duck Race Festival

May 6, 2023

Celebrate spring in the mountains and support the local community at the 35th annual Duck Race Festival!


Music, activities and duck adoptions

The festivities begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, with the Estes Park Running Club’s Duck Waddle 5K, a family fun run and race. Major sponsors of the Duck Race Festival will welcome duck fans to George Hix Riverside Plaza at 10 a.m., where there will be interactive activities and duck adoption sales until 1 p.m.

Live music at Riverside Plaza, as well as at Nicky’ Steakhouse will add a lively flair to the festival activities. The official duck drop is at 1 p.m. at Nicky’s will start the race, when thousands of little yellow rubber ducks will enter Fall River and float about 2 miles to Riverside Plaza downtown. There, they will be pulled out of the river by volunteers and cheered by the finish line crowd. Each adopted duck is assigned a number, and hundreds of prizes will be awarded. 


Adopt a duck for a chance to win

This year’s major prize will be $8,000 in cash, with second and third cash prizes of $5,000 and $2,000 respectively. In addition, major sponsor Delaware North Parks & Resorts, Inc. will provide two vacation packages that include stays and activities at their properties, one at Yellowstone National Park and one at Glacier National Park. Delaware North is the parent company of Estes Park’s Ridgeline Hotel.

Duck adoptions support local Estes Park charitable organizations. For every duck adopted ($22), the charity indicated on the adoption form will receive $19. The 2021 race returned $118,579 to 65 organizations providing non-profit or charitable services in the Estes Valley, and brought the total funds raised in the 33-year history of the event to just under $3 million.


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Duck Race Festival Schedule

Saturday, May 6, 2023

*Schedule is subject to change. Check back before Race Day*

9:00 am – Duck Waddle 5K

10:00 am – festivities and duck adoption sales at George Hix Riverside Plaza and Nicky's Steakhouse

1:00 pm – duck adoption sales end and duck drop/start of race at Nicky’s Steakhouse


duck race rubber duck drop