|Mascot Lucky Duck greets visitors to the festival.|
Wayne and I began our day with the traditional pre-race breakfast at Nicky's Steakhouse on the Fall River. Nicky's becomes the hub for the first half of race day.
Behind the scenes in a quiet back room at Nicky's, the Quack Pack accepts last minute adoption forms and money then enters the data on the five dedicated computers.
Meanwhile, a noisy, happy festival atmosphere prevails outside. In addition to Estes Park residents, we had many out-of-town visitors there to enjoy the day.
The suspense builds as the little plastic ducks, waiting for the count down, are loaded into the cage which is hoisted over Fall River
At precisely 1 p.m. the rope is pulled, the bottom of the cage opens and the ducks drop to the river. The race is on!
The time of the first duck's arrival at the finish line depends largely on how fast the river is running. This year it was under an hour. Trailing the ducks are several people in chest waders with sticks and brooms to dislodge stuck or straggling ducks.
Once the ducks are dropped, the focus switches to the finish line at Riverside Plaza. Wayne (in foreground) along with other duck dippers, scoop up the ducks as they arrive. The numbers on the ducks' bottoms are recorded as they cross the finish line and the winning names are posted on big boards outside the Wheel Bar.
The theme for 2015 was a tribute to Rocky Mountain National Park celebrating its centennial.
I'm relaxing today but looking forward to next year's race.