Approximately 3,000 sponsored rubber ducks will speed their way down the pool’s lazy river to raise money for PLAY Boulder Foundation
The Great Boulder Duck Race is set to paddle down the Scott Carpenter Pool’s lazy river on Sunday, August 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This beloved Boulder tradition is returning for its 35th year and its third year at Scott Carpenter Pool. The community event is free to the public and is the PLAY Boulder Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year.
Community members can get “quacking” by adopting a rubber duck for $10 each or groups/organizations can create their own adoption team. Individual duck adopters can win prizes donated by local businesses. Teams compete to raise the most funds for the glory of being recognized in the awards ceremony at the Duck Race event. The teams represent many groups from the community, including the Boulder Police and Fire-Rescue Departments who will compete in a head-to-head competition.
Approximately 3,000 ducks are expected to paddle down the lazy river in this year’s contest with cash prizes of $250, $200 and $150 awarded to the three fastest ducks. The Boulder business community will also be represented as event sponsors and prize donors.
Admission to Scott Carpenter Pool is free for those participating or watching the event. Lap swim will continue as scheduled all day and the leisure pool will open at noon. Parking at the pool is limited, so taking alternative transportation to the event is recommended.
The PLAY Boulder Foundation is Boulder Parks and Recreation Department’s philanthropic non-profit partner, and works to enhance local public spaces, preserve Boulder’s environment, and expand access to recreation programs. Funds raised by the Duck Race support PLAY Boulder in the creation of equitable access to recreation activities for under-resourced youth and people with disabilities, environmental sustainability through the Foundation’s Tree Trust program, and the enhancement of Boulder parks and public spaces. PLAY Boulder’s advocacy also supported the funding for the family-friendly amenities which were added to Scott Carpenter Pool in 2020.
“Hosting the Great Boulder Duck Race at a place that PLAY Boulder helped enhance is a powerful reminder of how we can make public spaces flourish for the entire Boulder community when we work together,” said Parks and Recreation Director Ali Rhodes. “With limited funding, PLAY’s partnership is critical to helping us achieve our mission.
“Boulder is about community and inclusivity,” said Stephanie O’Neil, a board member for PLAY Boulder who is in her fourth year of assisting with the Duck Race. “In addition to the programs PLAY Boulder supports, money raised from the race goes toward enhancing Boulder's 60+ neighborhood parks - spaces that enhance our quality of life and are vital to the health and wellness of our community.”
The Duck Race was moved from its former location at the Boulder Creek to Scott Carpenter Pool in 2021 due to challenging and uncertain creek flows. Hosting the event at the pool also increases the overall safety and enjoyment of the event.
Anyone interested in adopting a duck, creating an adoption team or attending the Duck Race can visit playboulder.org/2023duckrace for more information.