On Saturday hundreds of small, colorful numbered ducks will be launched from a bridge into Little Pipe Creek in Union Bridge, all in the name of raising funds for a local nonprofit group.
Saturday will be the fourth time the event has been held in Union Bridge. It started in 2018 as a family-friendly way to raise funds for Dream Big Union Bridge, a nonprofit that works to improve the town through events and services.
This weekend’s duck derby will take place near the Donald D. Wilson Walking Trail on North Main Street. At 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m., numbered ducks will be dropped into Little Pipe Creek. For each launch, the first duck to make it to the finish line scores $125, the second place duck gets $100 and third place earns $75. Random ducks will also be chosen to win other prizes.
Duck adoptions are $5 each, or participants can purchase “Quack Packs” (six ducks for $25) or “Flying Flocks” (15 ducks for $50). Ducks may be purchased in advance or at the event from 9 to 11 a.m.
In addition to the derby, there will be free games for kids, a moon bounce, a variety of vendors, and food available.
Co-founder Cheri Thompson said Dream Big’s mission is to give back to the Union Bridge community, whatever the need may be.
Thompson said the event was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in 2021 about 200 participants purchased 800 ducks and helped to raise more than $5,000.
For this year’s event, Dream Big is trying to raise enough money to pay for a fireworks display at the town’s New Year’s Eve celebration. Thompson hopes to launch 1,500 ducks Saturday and raise $7,500 to fund that event.
“This year we desperately need donations,” she said.
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Carroll County Commissioner Eric Bouchat, a Republican who represents District 4, said he has supported the Rubber Duck Derby since its inception.
“The first time I went I didn’t know what to expect, but there were so many people there having fun,” he said.
Bouchat noted that Union Bridge is the smallest of Carroll’s eight municipalities and events such as the duck derby help to attract people to the town.
The nonprofit hosts several community events each year, such as a free annual picnic, an Easter egg hunt, the New Year’s Eve celebration and a bulk trash pickup.
To adopt a duck or support the Dream Big Union Bridge fundraiser, call 443-340-6305, visit the Union Bridge Gift Shop, 11 N. Main St., or go to tinyurl.com/53szyt85.