The Great Boulder Duck Race is set to paddle down the Scott Carpenter Pool lazy river again on Sunday, August 28 from 3-5 p.m.
This beloved Boulder tradition is returning for its 34th year and its second year at Scott Carpenter Pool. The community event is free to the public and serves as the PLAY Boulder Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year.
Community members can participate in the event by “adopting” a rubber duck for $10 each. Individual duck adopters are entered into a raffle to win prizes donated by local businesses. Adoption 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 local dance teams, groups of neighbors, families, or friends, and even the Boulder Police and Fire-Rescue Departments who will compete in a head-to-head team competition.
Approximately 3,000 ducks will paddle down the lazy river in this year’s contest.
This in-person event is designed to be an outing the whole community can come and enjoy, featuring several facets of the Boulder community and lots of family-friendly fun. The Duck Race will include a synchronized swimming performance by local team, 5280Synchro. Boulder’s Parks and Recreation Department (BPR) will also put on a special slide naming ceremony for the two new water slides at Scott Carpenter Pool.
Scott Carpenter Pool will be open to the public all day with swimming ending at 3 p.m., when patrons will be invited to join spectators of the Duck Race event. Parking at the pool is limited, so taking alternative transportation to the event is recommended.
The PLAY Boulder Foundation is BPR’s philanthropic non-profit partner, and works to enhance local public spaces, preserve Boulder’s environment, and expand access to recreation programs. The PLAY Boulder Foundation’s advocacy also supported the funding for family-friendly amenities added to the Scott Carpenter Pool in 2020.
The Boulder business community will also be represented as event sponsors and prize donors.
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.
“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 the pool last year due to environmental concerns about plastic ducks getting stuck and flowing down the creek. Hosting the event at the pool also avoids the issue of unpredictable creek water levels and increases the safety of the event overall.
Anyone interested in adopting a duck or attending the Duck Race can visit playboulder.org/duckrace for more information.