© Eric McCarthy
Members of Tyne Valley Playschool are swimming in rubber duckies. From left: Madeline Oliver, Ethan Gorrill, Tye Collins, Addison Gillis and Josie McKendrick.
TYNE VALLEY — There's something special about the rubber duckies Rod MacNeill has piled up in his Tyne Valley office.
"These are actually racing ducks," claims MacNeill, co-ordinator for the community's inaugural Rubber Ducky Day. "They're weighted so they won't upset."
Proceeds from Rubber Ducky Day, to be held Sunday, May 18, will help fund two special Tyne Valley Oyster Festival events, the Soap Box Derby on July 26 and the festival parade Aug. 2.
Rubber Ducky Day, MacNeill said, will become an annual event, always held on the Sunday of Victoria Day weekend.
The central event of Rubber Ducky Day will be the rubber ducky race.
MacNeill said they've received a special order of 1,200 ducks from California.
"This is rubber duck week at the office here," he said, indicating the rubber ducks will be numbered individually from one to 1,200 this week in preparation for the race.
MacNeill said excitement is building in the village as Rubber Ducky Day approaches and, already, most of the ducks have been spoken for.
Rubber Ducky Day runs from 1 to 4 p.m. this Sunday, with the race scheduled to get underway behind the village office at 2 p.m. All the ducks will be let go at once and spectators will be watching and hoping their duck crosses the finish line first.
The participant whose ticket number corresponds with the number on the underside of the first duck to cross the line will win $1,000. The cash prizes are $250 and $100 respectively for second and third place.
The actual race route is not finalized yet but will be in the area of the Tyne Valley dam, taking wind direction into consideration.
Race ducks are going for $5 apiece or a flock of five for $20.
Other activities as part of Rubber Ducky Day are a barbecue sponsored by O'Leary Farmers Co-op, canteen service, face-painting and local entertainment.