ELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times
September is almost here, which means it is almost time for the annual Duck Race Festival.
The 2023 Duck Race Festival will be Saturday, Sept. 23 at Light Park, with everything beginning at 10 a.m. and the duck race itself starting at 2 p.m. Ducks are currently available for adoption starting Aug. 18, and people can adopt individual ducks for $10 each, or they can adopt a 6-Quack for $50 or a Lucky Pack of 13 ducks for $100. The total prize money will be $10,000 (1st place = $5,000; 2nd place = $2,000; 3rd place = $1,000; 4th place = $500; 5th place = $400; 6th place = $300; 7th place = $200; 8th place = $100; and Lucky Duck = $500).
“Liberal Chamber of Commerce ambassadors and board members will all have ducks for adoption, so people can get in touch with them if they're interested in having ducks in the race, and ducks will also be available for adoption the day of the event,” Liberal Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rozelle Webb said. “When it gets closer to the event, we'll also have our big duck out across the street from Adventure Bay Water Park, and people will be able to adopt ducks there too. The United Way will be doing its cookoff again, and the food is always really good, so we're excited about that. As I say with every race, if you DON'T adopt a duck, you have NO chance of any of the prize money. It's just a fun event to participate in, and I know a bunch of people who are excited every year to see if their duck ultimately swims the fastest toward the finish line.”
With everything that will be happening that day, Webb said there is a lot to be excited about.
“I'm ready for it to get here, I love seeing the duck race happen every year and seeing who ultimately comes away with the prize money. It's always a lot of fun to have events like this for the whole family, and the children especially have fun with it all,” Webb said. “There will be a lot of duck-themed games and other activities for them to do, and we'll also have the crowd favorites, the water barrel fight and the corporate trike races, for everyone to watch. There will definitely be plenty for everyone to do out there that day. I think it'll be a great day in the park for everyone to have fun, and it's great seeing everyone watching the race so quickly, especially the children.”
Webb also offered encouragement for businesses to set up a booth at the park for that day.
“It's a great opportunity for businesses and entities to tell people about themselves and spread the word about what they do, and they can do that with a bunch of people all in one spot,” Webb said. “We always encourage businesses to come out and have a booth where they can come out and have promotional materials or duck-themed games or activities like that, it's a great way to get the word out about your business, and it's in a fun way. They'll get to meet potential customers and advertise themselves, and it's just great publicity. Any business can have a booth, booth spaces are $40, and any business wanting to have a booth just needs to call the Chamber of Commerce at (620) 624-3855, and we'll get them set up.”
As with every year, Webb said she hopes people have fun.
“It's just a really fun day for the community to come out and have some fun and see friends and everyone else who will be out there. There are a few things we're still finalizing, and I think this year will be fun for everyone,” Webb said. “We'll have our bouncy houses along with a lot of different games such as Chuck-A-Duck, our Ducky Downs area, and Tic-Tac-Duck, among many others. We've also got several great businesses who will have booths there that day. We’ll also have our 2023 cornhole tournament that day, with 1st place getting a Lucky Pack of ducks, 2nd place getting eight ducks, and 3rd place receiving a 6-Quack.”
Webb said there are is also some pre-Duck Race Festival fun scheduled in the coming weeks.
“Before the Duck Race Festival day, we're hosting a Duck Mixer event with Baker Arts Center, that will be Sept. 15 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. That event will feature games and chances for prizes, and there will be food and drinks there, and it's $20 per person or $30 per couple, and each ticket holder gets a free duck,” Webb said. “We’ll also be having a duck scavenger hunt Sept. 9 at the farmer’s market from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., and whoever finds the most ducks will win a duck for the big race.”
Sponsors for the 2023 Duck Race Festival include American Family Insurance-Daisy Padilla, Ashley Homestore, Baker Arts Center, Bank of the Plains, Black Hills Energy, Brown's Shoe Fit, Chrysler Corner, Community Bank, Crosspoint Church, Dreamz Childcare, Electric Motor Service, EPIC Touch, Equity Bank, Farmer's Insurance-Candi Prater, Golden Plains Credit Union, Groendyke Transport, H&R Block, Heifer Source, Horizon Stone & Cabinets, IdeaTek, KSCB-The Legend, La Mexicana Radio, LB Services LLC, the Leader & Times, Lewis Chevrolet of Liberal, National Beef, New Beginnings Church, Scantlin's Furniture, Seaboard Foods, Southern Office Supply, Souther Pioneer Electric Company, Southwest Medical Center, State Farm Insurance-Crystal Kinsinger, Sunflower Bank, Truck Center Companies, United Wireless, Versus Signs, and Xpress Wellness Urgent Care.
“I hope everyone puts Sept. 23 on their calendars and makes their way to Light Park for this year's Duck Race Festival and enjoy the day!” Webb said. “We truly appreciate all of our sponsors and everyone who comes out and adopts ducks for the race, and I just hope everyone comes out and has some fun.”