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Duck Derby: racing to fair's finish

John H. Croessman
updated: 9/7/2015 11:47 PM

Propelled by a giant jet pump, 8,000 rubber ducks raced to raise $40,000 for Special Olympics of Southern Illinois on Sunday as one of the closing special events of the 93rd annual Du Quoin State Fair.
The rubber ducks--all wearing sunglasses--cascaded into the ski lake near the Exhibition Hall from a large dump truck located on the southwest corner of the lake.
Each duck was numbered and the numbers corresponded to the names of the donors who bought one duck, a “Quack Pack” of six or more.
Some of the prizes included $2,000 cash or a trip to Cancun. Mexico.
The event was marked by live music and was emceed by Keenan Rice of Du Quoin.
It took about 25 minutes for the rubber ducks to make the trip. At the end of the race, the winning ducks drifted into a funnel where they were plucked from the water by judges who wrote down the winning numbers off the bottom of the ducks. It was one of several area fundraisers for Special Olympics that include the Polar Plunge and the annual Du Quoin indoor softball tournament.

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