Five Wacky Events for Memorial Day and Beyond
From rubber ducks to a giant lobster roll, check out these crazy spectacles.
May 22, 2009— -- 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.
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."