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Supporting Estes Park Charities for 30 years and counting!
The Estes Park Duck Race continues a tradition started in 1989 to support the local charities of the Estes Valley. In 1989, Estes Park didn't have a United Way or any other organized way to collect and distribute funds to needy organizations in town. Then, one day, four businessmen in town, Stan Pratt, Nick Kane, Mike McDonald, and Steve Nagl were having coffee and were discussing that very issue. They were also brainstorming on ideas for extending the "shoulder season" in Estes so that the merchants could have a better business season.

Stan mentioned that he had seen a neat duck race up in Oregon and it seemed like it was a lot of fun and a good way to bring the tourists to town for a festival. Not only that, it seemed like a good way to raise money for the charitable organizations in town. Looked like a natural winner.

Mike said. "Well, we've got a river that runs right through the main part of town." Nick chimed in with, "We could start the race at my restaurant."
And Steve added, "The finish line could be at my place."

And, that's how the Duck Race started. From that small beginning, the Estes Park Duck Race has grown to be one of the top 5 Duck Races in Colorado and now enjoys enormous popularity with 5-7 thousand ducks being adopted and well over 500 Prizes for the lucky winners.
Here you can download the application form for organizations to sign up for the duck race as well as learn a bit of info. To get the whole quack please visit our Duck Race website or click on the Adopt Now button to get started.
Duck Race Festival charities to meet March 1
New place, time for this year’s pre-sales gathering
January 31, 2018
Sixty-nine organizations have been invited to pick up packets of Duck Race adoption forms Thursday, March 1 and receive instructions on sales. These organizations have been chosen as beneficiaries of the 2018 Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival.
Distribution Night begins at 6 p.m. at The Ridgeline Hotel, 101 South St. Vrain Ave. The Duck Race Festival Committee encourages each of the 69 organizations to send a representative to the meeting and to note the new start time and new location.
“I look forward to working with the charitable organizations to maximize their adoption sales and have a successful race,” said Larry Williams, Duck Race Committee member in charge of beneficiary organizations.
Beginning Friday, March 2 groups will begin distributing paper adoption forms and encouraging their members and friends to adopt ducks. The Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival website and Facebook page will launch online sales on March 2 in tandem with paper sales.
The annual Estes Park Duck Race Festival will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, with the Estes Park Running Club’s 5K Duck Waddle, a family fun run and race. At 10 a.m. Duck Race Festival charities will welcome duck fans to Bond Park for interactive activities, music and duck adoption sales. Action will move to the starting line at Nicky’s Resort on Highway 34 around 11:30 a.m. Thousands of little yellow ducks will drop into Fall River and float about 2 miles to Riverside Plaza downtown. There, they will be fished out of the river by volunteers and cheered by the crowd at the finish line. Each adopted duck is assigned a number, and hundreds of prizes will be awarded.
This year’s all-inclusive travel prizes, funded by many generous corporate sponsors, will transport winners to exciting destinations, including Costa Rica, Mexico, Seattle, San Diego, Santa Fe and Las Vegas. New this year, major sponsor Delaware North, Companies, Inc. will provide four additional travel prizes that include stays and activities at their properties around the country, including The Pine Lodge at Glacier National Park, the Kennedy Space Center in Orlando, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park, and Yellowstone National Park in winter. Delaware North is the parent company of The Ridgeline Hotel in Estes Park.
            For every duck adopted with a paper form for $20, the charity checked off on the adoption form will receive $19.  The other $1 is retained by the Rotary Club of Estes Park to offset operational costs of the next year’s Duck Race Festival. Adoptions charged to a credit card online at will cost $22.
            “The Noon Rotary Club sponsors the race as a way to support Estes Valley charities. While our Rotary Foundation is one of the 69 beneficiaries, our goal is to let the ducks swim for the community’s benefit.” 2018 ‘Big Duck’ Brad Rosenbaum said.
The 2017 race brought the total funds raised in the 29-year history of the event to $2.5 million. Social media will spread the word internationally. To help this effort, the Duck Race Festival has a Facebook presence to propel adoptions at
All are welcome as volunteers!
Help the 2018 Estes Park Duck Race Festival
February 18, 2018
Everyone knows the Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival is the place to be on the first Saturday in May. But, did you know that you do not have to be a Rotarian to help?
“We welcome volunteers from high school age on up to 105 who can give a few hours on Saturday, May 5. No special skills are required except a positive attitude,” said Scott Thompson, Estes Park Rotary Duck Race Festival volunteer coordinator.
Thompson is looking for volunteers to help with:
  • Setting up and taking down equipment at the start and finish lines
  • Selling duck-themed race memorabilia at Bond Park and Riverside Plaza
  • Supporting operations in Bond Park for charities and organizations
  • Helping to display sponsor ducks
  • Ensuring safety along the riverbanks
  • Keeping the ducks from getting snagged in the river.
“Our 70-member club cannot put on this event without a host of volunteers. It’s a great way to help a great cause, to make new friends, and be part of one of the largest events in Estes Park,” Thompson added.
To sign up as a volunteer, contact Thompson at or call him at 970-590-9941.