ELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times
Saturday marked a perfect day for the annual Duck Race Festival, and for some, it was made even more perfect with the winning of prize money.
Winners of the $10,000 in prize money from the Duck Race were Southern Office Supply employees winning the $5,000 grand prize, Charla Light-Sallaska in second place winning $2,000, Bob Decker in third place winning $1,000, Kyle Weber in fourth place winning $500, Colleen Johnson in fifth place winning $400, Omar Ibanez in sixth place and winning $300, Danica Miles in seventh place and winning $200, and Stephanie Condee in eighth place and winning $100. The Lucky Duck picked was adopted by Del Lambley and was good for $500.
Liberal Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Rozelle Webb said she and staff were very pleased with how this year’s Duck Race Festival turned out.
“We really couldn’t have timed the Duck Race Festival for this year any better,” Webb said. “It was a beautiful day, we had a great crowed, probably the best crowd we’ve had in the past few years, and we had several great businesses booths and games for the children to play. We also had the cornhole tournament, which had a lot of entries, and a lot of those guys were also part of the Corporate Trike Races, which was funny to watch. Then the duck race itself went off really well and we had a great group of winners, so we were all really pleased, and it was a great day.”
Sponsors for the 2023 Duck Race Festival included 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.
Webb also talked about some trends she noticed with this year’s duck adoptions.
“We had a lot of ambassadors out and about selling ducks for that time, and I know there were a lot of ducks sold especially the last few days before the event,” Webb said. “We also had a bunch adopted the day of the festival, and we always expect that. We’re still calculating exactly how many ducks were adopted, but I know there were a lot.”
Webb said there was a lot to enjoy from this year’s Duck Race Festival.
“I really enjoyed all the booths we had, just about every vendor had some type of game for children to play, which I think is great,” Webb said. “Since there was all of that around, all the families were having fun and having a great day at the park, and that was really fun to watch. I was also really happy to see the Eckels’ train giving rides, that’s always really fun for people, and we also appreciate that. The cornhole tournament was also fun to watch. Everyone who came added a little something to what was going on.”
The United Way Chili Cook-off also took place Saturday, with Jamie Williams taking home first place and the People’s Choice award, Blanca Esparza taking second place, and Crossroads coming in third place.
“I’m really happy with how the cook-off went, there was some great chili offered, and it was fun going through each of those vendors,” Webb said. “That’s always fun and I always enjoy seeing what people come up with there.”
And even though this year’s event is only just in the books, Webb said next year is already being thought about, and she offered encouragement for people to go ahead and start thinking about their duck adoptions.
“As I say every year, you can’t win unless you enter,” Webb said. “It’s not a high-pressure event, it’s just a really fun event and it brings out a lot of people, so we always encourage people to adopt their ducks. We appreciate the community for coming out, and for businesses for coming out and having booths. We also appreciate the Liberal Parks Department for their work in prepping the park beforehand and making sure it was clean and getting the fencing and everything else up. The Liberal Fire Department provided the water for Ducky Downs, and we always appreciate them for that. The Solid Waste Department was also very helpful in cleaning up afterward. So many people from so many departments and entities are involved in making the Duck Race Festival a success, and I can’t express appreciation enough.”