PORT ANGELES — Rain or shine, more than 26,000 bright-yellow rubber ducks will splash into the Lincoln Park pond during the 27th annual Great Olympic Peninsula Duck Derby on Sunday.
Racers entering rubber ducks in the race will have the opportunity to come in first to win a 2016 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck or a Toyota Corolla provided by Wilder Toyota of Port Angeles.
Forty-four total prizes will be up for grabs this year with proceeds benefiting the Olympic Medical Center Foundation and the Sequim Rotary Club’s charitable projects.
“We’re running about 15 percent ahead of last year,” in duck ticket sales, Bruce Skinner, executive director of the Olympic Medical Center Foundation, said Wednesday.
In 2015, about 20,000 duck tickets had been sold as of the Wednesday before the race, and about 26,000 ducks hit the water when the contest began.
This year, sales have been so brisk that organizers ordered more ducks, Skinner said Wednesday.
“A lot of ducks came in in the last few days,” he said.
Each year, hundreds of spectators watch from the banks of the pond, and the winners are announced from a stage nearby.
The Kids Pavilion will be open before the races for children’s activities and entertainment.
Ducks are dumped into the water, then sent racing across the pond by firehoses — using water from the pond itself — staffed by members of the Port Angeles Fire Department and Clallam County Fire District No. 2.
Oversized rubber racing ducks will float through the Bub and Alice Olsen Very Important Duck Race, the first race of the day, which will begin at 2 p.m.
The massive flock of their smaller cousins land in the pond for the main Duck Derby at 2:30 p.m.
The first race is an opportunity for businesses and individuals, including those from outside the Peninsula who do business with local companies, to purchase special VID ducks emblazoned with their logo.
For $275, a business can buy 60 ducks in the main race and one duck in the VID race. For $550, a business can have 120 ducks in the main race and two in the VID race.
In the main race, the Grand Prize Duck — the first one to reach the end of a chute at race’s end — will win the duck’s sponsor the grand prize of a choice of a pickup or sedan.
The next 43 ducks at chute’s end will earn prizes worth more than $25,000 in total.
Prizes include a trip for two to Victoria, a Craftsman drill set, cash, gift certificates to local businesses and donated materials or services.
Ducks still available
Ducks are still available for “adoption.”
For each duck that’s adopted, the purchaser receives a ticket with a printed number that corresponds to a number on the duck.
All of the numbered ducks are dumped into the Lincoln Park pond on race day, and the “owners” of the first 44 ducks to cross the finish line will win prizes.
Ducks for the main race cost $5 each, or $25 for six.
Very Important Duck entries are sold in several packages, for $150, $275, $550 or $1,100.
Last-minute duck adoptions will be available today at the Peninsula Daily News main office at 305 W. First St., Port Angeles.
Today and Saturday, duck tickets can be purchased at both Port Angeles Safeway stores; at Swain’s General Store at 602 E. First St., Port Angeles; and at Thomas Building Center, 301 W. Washington St., Sequim.
On Sunday, ducks for the main race will be available only at Lincoln Park, and sales will end at 2 p.m.
Winners do not need to be present and will be notified by phone after the race.
Last year, the foundation donated the funds from the derby and other events to the cardiac unit, the cancer center and the expanded emergency room project.
This year, the funds will be distributed throughout all of the departments at the hospital, and no specific items have been identified yet as specific needs, Skinner said.
The Duck Derby is operated under the rules of the Washington State Gambling Commission, according to the Olympic Medical Center Foundation website.
For more information, contact the Olympic Medical Center Foundation at 360-417-7144.