It’s duck season in Silverdale.
The Great Kitsap Duck Race season officially began earlier this week when the Silverdale Rotary Club held its kickoff party.
Rotarians and their guests gathered to talk duck and be the first folks to adopt their ducks.
The duck race is an annual fund-raising effort by the Silverdale Rotary Club that benefits the local community.
Just in case you’ve never been a part of Silverdale’s annual Whaling Days, and don’t know what a duck race is, we’ll tell you.
The duck race will take place at 3 p.m. July 28 at the Silverdale Waterfront. The race is a fun way to make a contribution to the Silverdale Rotary and the programs it sponsors in this community.
Between now and July 21, anyone can “adopt” a little yellow plastic duck (or two or three or 100) that will race as the final event of the 2013 Whaling Days.
One lucky duck will win the floating race and it’s owner will receive a Nissan truck valued at $16,000 from Advantage Nissan and a chance to win $1 million from the Suquamish Clearwater Casino. Each duck equals a chance at the big prizes.
For the first time, ducks can be adopted online this year by going to www.silverdalerotaryduckrace.com. In-person duck adoptions will also take place throughout the community beginning in July. Locations and details are posted online.
Ducks go for $5 each or buy a “Quack Pack” of five ducks for $20. Adopters receive tickets numbered to correspond with the actual ducks that float on the water on July 28. Ducks are randomly tagged with numbers that match the tickets that adopters have purchased, and then, at 3 p.m. July 28, the rubber ducks are dumped into the waters of Dye’s Inlet.
It’s anybody’s bet which duck will be the first to cross the finish line. And just how fast that will happen depends on the wind. Last year’s Duck Race took all of 10 minutes for the 18,000 ducks to float their way to the finish line.
This year, the Rotarians hope to sell 20,000 ducks in honor of the fact that this is the 20th annual duck race, said Elayne Burton, duck race chairman.
“You can get ducks just about anywhere,” she said. “And we’ll have them at the pancake breakfast and at the parade during Whaling Days. We’re really hoping to reach our goal of 20,000 ducks racing this year.”
Last year’s race raised $76,000. The money is used to support food banks, homeless shelters, battered women’s shelters, kids and youth programs, the teen center at the Haselwood YMCA, Corey’s Day at the Farm and Kitsap Hospice.
Grants to nonprofits in the Kitsap community also are funded through the duck race.
This year’s race will have something new, too — a mascot. “Lucky,” the life-sized mascot duck, will be at the race and will be around town until then, so keep you eyes open!
For more information: www.greatkitsapduckrace.com.