Five Wacky Events for Memorial Day and Beyond

Wildquack Duck Race in Jackson New Hampshire

Once a year, the sleepy New Hampshire town of Jackson is invaded by ducks -- thousands of rubber ducks.

Jackson will celebrate its 20th annual Wildquack Duck Race on Sunday. Roughly 3,500 rubber ducks are raced each year down the Wildcat River. That's nearly four ducks per person for this town of less than 900 residents.

The event is just one of countless wacky events and festivals to be held around the country this summer. So in the spirit of Memorial Day -- the unofficial kickoff to summer -- we are bringing you our favorite five summer events.

Rubber Duckies

The duck race draws thousands of people to Jackson, N.H. They line the streets and climb street poles to get a view of the race, according to Kathleen L. Driscoll, executive director of the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce.

The rubber duckies are purchased for $6 each -- or four for $20 -- with the money supporting the local fire and police departments, humane society, Special Olympics, school and the chamber.

The owner of the first duck to cross the finish line gets $1,000. The last duck's owner get a mountain bike. A "stuck duck patrol," made up of local kids, ensures that each floating fowl makes it down the river to the finish line. All the ducks taken out of the river at the end of the race.

"We leave the environment the way we found it," Driscoll said.

But the event is more than just a race. There is a dunk tank with local "celebrities" and a chance for anybody to step onto a stage for their 15 minutes of fame. The catch: If the crowd doesn't like your act, they can quack you off the stage. Better than a rotten tomato, right?

So why ducks? Is there some strong local connection with the waterfowl?

No. The answer from Driscoll is much simpler: "Because they float down the river."

World's Biggest Lobster Roll?

What's the trickiest thing about making the world's longest lobster roll? A hint: It has nothing to do with lobster.

"I think the hardest part is probably going to make sure the bun comes out correctly," said Alan A. Casucci, a spokesman for Linda Bean's Perfect Maine, a lobster company.

Linda Bean's Perfect Maine is joining with the Portland, Maine, community group West End Neighborhood Association to build what they hope will be a record-setting lobster roll on June 7.

If all goes according to plan, the roll will be 60 feet in length, with 45 pounds of meat donated by Linda Bean's.

Of course, a 60-foot lobster roll will require a 60-foot bun. The creation of that bun, Casucci said, will fall to two local bakeries -- Amato's and J.J. Nissan -- which will bake the roll in an industrial oven. A flatbed truck will be used to carry the bun from the oven to the site of Portland's annual Old Port Fest, where school children will help stuff the roll.

Four-inch-long slices of the roll, along with a drink and a bag of potato chips, will be sold for a donation of $20 each. The donations will be used to help fund summer swimming lessons for children living in Portland's West End.

The event was conceived by Michael Whittaker, a Portland librarian and a member of the West End Neighborhood Association. An event involving lobster was the natural choice, Whittaker said.

"We are here in Maine after all," Whittaker said. "It is the iconic Maine treat."

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