At exactly two p.m. on a perfect March afternoon at Monterey, almost two hundred little yellow ducks were dumped into the Number Four pond to begin their race to the bridge, while a soft persistent breeze created tiny waves on the surface. The ducks were weighted to remain upright and each had a number on its underside for identification of winners. This race, as well as the barbeque lunch which preceded it, was a fund-raiser for a big, new canopy to cover an expanded picnic area.
The crowd of well-wishers, who had individually "purchased" ducks for ten dollars each, lined the banks. Some walked along the edge keeping up with the ducks, but many had brought folding chairs the better to enjoy the race. It was a smiling, jovial crowd, and the ducks performed perfectly, with the winner completing the route in under thirty minutes. The second and third quickly followed, and fish nets were put in motion to scoop out the entire field in a matter of minutes.
The three cash winners' names were promptly announced, and the owner of the very last little duck won a handsome consolation prize. The organizers earned a tidy profit for their cause, and observers will be chuckling and trading stories about this event for weeks to come.
Click here for photos of the Picnic, Race & Art Show…
(photo credits: Joan Roehm, Bob Mecozzi & Kim Ryan)
Click here for YouTube video of the Duck Race…
(videographer & narrator: Bob Mecozzi, editing: Chuck Bessey)