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Norwich – Hundreds of yellow rubber ducks will race the short distance of the Yantic River at Firemen’s Field Saturday in the annual “Great Duck Race” fundraiser sponsored by Norwich Sunrise Rotary, and with recent heavy rains and more expected later this week, the river should be running high and fast.
The event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Firemen’s Field behind the Yantic Fire Engine Co. No. 1 and will include food, vendors, children’s games and face painting and vendor booths for local businesses and civic groups. Admission to the event is free. The Yantic Fire Engine Co. No. 1 will hold its annual chicken barbecue starting at 3 p.m.
Tickets to buy a duck for the race are $10 each and can be purchased at local branches of People’s United, Dime and Savings Institute banks and Stott’s At Bat, or from Sunrise Rotary members. Tickets for the chicken barbecue also are $10 and are available at the same locations.
The first duck race featuring more than 30 decorated larger corporate sponsor ducks will start at 3 p.m.
The general duck race will be launched at 3 p.m. with 10 prizes to be award. The top prize is $3,000 in cash. Second prize is $1,500, and the owner of the third place duck will receive $500.
Entertainment will run throughout the event, starting with the presentation of colors by local Young Marines at 11 a.m.
Performers include Mixed Blessings drumming group, a barbershop quartet and dances and songs by members of the Haitian, Cape Verdean and Native American clubs at Norwich Free Academy.
The Norwich firefighters’ dive team will give a demonstration in the river, and the group America’s Best Defense will give a martial arts demonstration.
Winners of the “whacky duck poster” contest for local students in kindergarten through third grade will be announced. A winner from each grade will receive a certificate for one week at the Mad Science Camp.