All photos of the rubber ducky race available on Flickr.
A couple weeks ago, I was parousing the Mallards website looking at photos of the new Duck Pond renovation, and noticed an article about a Rubber Duck Race being held at Burr Jones park, on Madison's near east side. I was very upset with myself that there was an annual Mallards event that I didn't know about, so I emailed Erik about it and we immediately rectified that situation by purchasing 6 ducks/$10 for the fundraising event. All proceeds from this event benefit Madison Parks and the Goodman Pool Scholarship.
Of course, after 4 consecutive days of 75+ degree weather, it was in the low 50s and windy when we arrived at the park an hour early to tailgate. We now know for next year that we don't have to get there so early, as we had to kill over 2 hours by drinking in the parking lot, arm-wrestling Maynard, and figuring out what new Mallards gear we liked the best at the merchandise tent. Despite it being an event geared towards children, we still enjoyed ourselves and I was excited to see the new 2011 Mallards branding and mascot. It was a little chilly and Lauren had to spend some time in the car warming up, but we made the best of it, and by the time the race started I was too distracted to feel cold. The race was set up on a section of the Yahara River which runs through the park, and Maynard started it off by dumping a trash bin full of the ducks off of a pontoon boat into the water. The ducks traveled maybe 500 feet along the river to a couple of girls stationed in canoes by a barrier made up of plastic tubing and fish nets. The Yahara is a pretty slow moving river, and the fierce wind made the race even slower by blowing all the rubber ducks along the south bank. Eventually a winner emerged (sadly, not us) and took home 10 tickets to Opening Day. Erik and I were already on pins and needles awaiting the massive Warner Park renovation to be completed for the home opener in a few weeks, and spending an afternoon with Maynard at the Rubber Ducky Race only heightened our anticipation.
STANDINGS & UPCOMING SERIES AS OF 05.16:
Brewers 19-21, -4.0 (2 @ Dodgers, 2 @ Padres, 3 v. Rockies)
Reds 23-17, +1.5 (2 v. Cubs, 2 v. Pirates, 3 @ Indians)
Twins 12-26, -12.5 (2 @ Mariners, 2 @ Athletics, 3 @ Diamondbacks)
2011 GAMES ATTENDED:
Erik - 4
Peter - 14