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The Great Drake Park Duck Race

HomeBend, Oregon Events CalendarThe Great Drake Park Duck Race

Whimsical and lovable, the classic, yellow rubber duck has been a part of childhood since the late 1800s. These first rubber ducks were solid rubber and used more as chew toys (since they couldn’t float). Luckily rubber and plastic manufacturing and shaping quickly advanced and they became the floating ducks we all know and love. Generations of kids have grown up with them. Sesame Street’s Ernie has one and sings about it, and supposedly the Queen has one too, (a crown-wearing duckie of course). The cute little, yellow, rubber duck has become a cultural icon, and the bright yellow ducks are now used not only as bath toys but also as protest symbols and in fundraising derby duck races worldwide.


The Duck Race in Bend

In 1989, the local Rotary Clubs in Bend got together and organized The Great Drake Park Duck Race to raise money for local children and families in need. A day-long, family-friendly event, there is plenty for kids of all ages to enjoy this activity in Bend, Oregon!

First thing in the morning, the activity booths open, along with live music, and food and drink vendors. Kids can enjoy bouncy houses, face painting, and more. There are two duck races, both in the afternoon. Race participants can buy as many rubber ducks as they want, and all proceeds go directly to local charities. The 500 Ducky Race starts things off and is strictly for the kids. 500 colorful rubber duckies are tossed into the Deschutes River and the race course (and the current) takes the ducks from the Galveston Bridge to the footbridge at Mirror Pond. After awarding the kids’ prizes, it’s time for the adults’ duck race. This time, thousands of yellow duckies bob and float down the Deschutes River toward the pond and possible prizes.


Enjoying the Great Drake Park Duck Race

Drake Park is one of Bend’s most popular downtown parks and hosts several events throughout the year, including the Duck Race and Bend’s Old Fashioned July 4th Celebration. Along with plenty of grassy green open space, wide paved pathways, almost a mile of riverfront (and river access), connections to several trails, the park has recently renovated restrooms, picnic tables, an outdoor stage, and public art to enjoy.

Be sure to book one of our lovely vacation rental homes in or near downtown Bend. It’s just a short walk to Drake Park and the rest of the lively fun activities in Bend, Oregon. Let us help you choose the best vacation rental for your stay – give us a call today!

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