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Duck Derby returns to Wadhams

Members of the Wadhams Volunteer Fire Department fish rubber ducks out of the Boquet River after the first duck race last year.

Members of the Wadhams Volunteer Fire Department fish rubber ducks out of the Boquet River after the first duck race last year.

— It’s the Wadhams Volunteer Fire Department’s version of a duck dynasty.

For the third year, the department will be holding its Duck Derby during the Strawberry Festival in Wadhams on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16.

This year, the department will again increase the number of rubber ducks being launched into the waters of the Boquet River, having started with 300 ducks, then increasing to 400 last year and having up to 500 ready for racing this year.

“Ducks are on sale for $5 from any fire department member, or at the dogwood bakery,” Sheera Broderick said. “Typically, most are sold by the day of the race, so it might be a good idea to get them in advance.”

The previous two races have started with the ducks being dropped from the Route 22 Bridge in Wadhams. This year, with the bridge being replaced, the site of the race has moved to the Fanny Swan Bridge, located at the intersection of the Halds, Merriam Forge, Sherman and Morrison roads, near the Coon Mountain trailhead.

The ducks, which will each be numbered, will then make their way down the river to a finish line, where the first duck to cross will earn its owner $250. The owner of the second place duck will fetch $100, while a $50 prize will go to the third duck to cross the line.

“There are also many other prizes donated by local businesses and artists,” Broderick said.

The ducks will be released at 3 p.m. on June 16, with all profits from the event going to the Wadhams Volunteer Fire Department community fund.

“We use the money to make donations to families in the community to help pay for medical travel or help replace belongings that were lost in a fire,” Broderick said.

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