Rubber Ducky Race returns to Steamboat on Saturday |

Rubber Ducky Race returns to Steamboat on Saturday

Luke Graham

Crowds watch a fleet of yellow rubber ducks swim down the Yampa River during the Rubber Ducky Race in 2012. This year's event is Saturday.

— There are a lot of unpredictable things that can happen in eight blocks between Fifth and 13th streets along the Yampa River.

Of course, when it involves thousands of little, yellow, rubber duckies and a Yampa River filled with recent rainfall, really anything can happen.

On Saturday, during the 26th annual Rubber Ducky Race, the Yampa will turn yellow with ducks to benefit a pair of programs at Yampa Valley Medical Center.

The fundraiser, which takes place at 10 a.m., will send as many as 3,000 rubber ducks down the rapids and swirling through the eddies as children and families run along the banks after them.

This year, all prizes will be cash, with $5,000 up for grabs for the fastest ducks. The top prize is $1,000 for the owner of the duck that crosses the finish line first.

"This is a very family-friendly event," said Mindy Fontaine, the YVMC volunteer services coordinator. "The whole community comes out."

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Tickets still are available for $10. They will be on sale until 6 p.m. Friday in front of City Market. At 9 a.m. Saturday, the remaining tickets will be sold at Fifth and Yampa streets. Tickets also can be purchased here.

The fundraiser will benefit the GrandKids program, which brings children in close contact with senior citizens. It also will benefit pediatric services with both inpatient and outpatients at the "Little House" on the YVMC campus.

The event also will include other family events, including bouncy houses, face painting, live music and food vendors.

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229, email or follow him on Twitter @LukeGraham

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