Good Luck

September 27th, 2021

duck race 2021Ducks speed their way toward the finish line of Ducky Downs as part of this year’s Duck Race Festival. Vickie Rice’s duck ultimately took home the $5,000 grand prize. L&T photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


Saturday afternoon was hot and sweltering, but a lucky handful of people ended up going home with some pretty cool prizes from this year’s Duck Race Festival. 

Winners in the Duck Race, which included the top eight and the “Hard Luck Duck” were: Vickie Rice winning the $5,000 grand prize, Jesse Randles winning $2,000 for second place, Claudia Covarrubias winning $1000  for third place, Richard Lanning winning $500 for fourth place, Joseph Haskell winning $400 for fifth place, Studio 3 winning $300  for sixth place, Dave Strickland winning $200 for seventh place, and Sherri Danklefs winning $100 for eighth place. The Lucky Duck picked belonged to Towanda Lewis, and was good for $500.

“It's pretty exciting, and I'm really happy about it,” Rice said after the race. “I buy tickets every year, and this was the first year I ended up winning something, and I think it's pretty awesome that's how everything ended up this year. I was really happy, but there was also some disbelief there because again, I've never won anything with this in all the time I've been buying ducks. I actually would have been happy with any prize, really. I've bought at least one duck every year the duck festival has been going on, so it's a fun, annual thing for our family.”

This year was the 20th iteration of the Duck Race Festival, and Rice said buying ducks has become an annual tradition. 

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“It's something that's really fun, and it's a great way to give to the community. I was born and raised here, and one of the best ways to give back, for me, was buying ducks every year,” Rice said. “It's really fun to see all the different stuff for the children like the bounce houses and that stuff, and of course it's always fun to watch the race itself and cheer on the ducks. It's great seeing so many people in the community come out and have fun, and it's amazing how much the event has grown in the 20 years it's been happening. It's been great watching the Duck Race Festival grow and grow every year, and it's great having an event like this for the community. Especially for this year, I enjoyed seeing everything that happened – we actually only got back to town earlier in the afternoon because I was participating in a 9/11 memorial 5K in Hugoton that morning. We got here shortly before the race started and now I'm going home with the prize money. And I'll absolutely continue buying ducks as long as I can. Like I said, it's a lot of fun.”

Along with the race, Saturday also saw the chili, soup and taco cook-off sponsored by the Seward County United Way. In the chili/soup portion, Southwest Medical Center took first place, Western Kansas Child Advocacy Center (WKCAC) came in second place, and Patrick Perry came in third place. With the taco competition, Efrain with Antojitos Originales Chilangolandia took first place, Aurora Malpica took second place, and the Atletico Liberal Fútbol Club took third place. In the salsa competition, Aurora Malpica came in first, Norma Quintero came in second place, and Atletico Liberal Fútbol Club came in third place. The People’s Choice winner ended up being Efrain with Antojitos Originales Chilangolandia.

With the Duck Race, Rice said it is important for people to adopt ducks if they want a chance to win some of the big prize money. 

“Really, the big thing is buy your ducks. It's really fun to participate each year, and you can't win if you don't buy a ticket – if you adopt a duck, that very well might be the one that wins it al,” Rice said. “It's also a great way to support the community and help out. As far as plans for the prize money, something my husband and I have wanted for a while is to get a Blackstone grill, so at least part of the money will go toward that. There are also some other things we might do, but we'll have to talk about that.”

Overall, Rice said, she was very pleased with how this year’s Duck Race ended up for her. 

“I'm really happy with how the race ended up for me this year, and I would again encourage people in the community to participate in the Duck Race in the future,” Rice said. “Like it's been said, you can't win if you don't buy a duck, so go for it because you never know!”

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