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Duck racers prepare for big event

Photo: Mark Williamson (A57/7/16/76.
Photo: Mark Williamson (A57/7/16/76.

PARK-GOERS will be treated to a sea — or rather, river — of yellow tomorrow, as thousands of rubber ducks race down the Avon for charity.

It is the second year of the Stratford Rotary Evening Group’s Shakespeare Charity Duck Race, following the success of 2016’s inaugural competition. Money raised will go to the Shakespeare Hospice Children and Young People's Service, supporting 16–25 year olds who are acting as carers or suffering from mental health issues.

The event will consist of two races, the larger of which will be a 2,000-rubber-duck launch, which the public can enter at a price of £2 per duck. The owners of the first three ducks to cross the finish line will win £150, £100 and £50 respectively, with fourth place receiving a family ticket to the butterfly farm.

The main event will be preceded by a Corporate Duck Race race for local companies, which around 30 businesses are expected to enter with customised rubber ducks. Several Stratford stalwarts are expected to participate, including The Fourteas, Barry the Butcher and El Greco. The winner will take home the ‘Duck Trophy’.

The races will begin at Lucy’s Mill Weir, opposite Holy Trinity Church, with the first launch expected at around 2pm. Members of the Mezzo Dance Company will also be staging a performance, in duck costumes.

John Rees, one of the event’s organisers, said around 1,300–1,400 rubber ducks had already been sold, with many more expected to go on the day if the weather is good.

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