Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ducks in a row . . .

Each month our dance group has a potluck business meeting that is really more like lots of food followed by a short announcement of upcoming dances and events, usually a humorous song, then games like Mexican Train, Pinochle, and Rummy Cube.  In the summer; however, there is an extra event -- a rubber duck race in a small stream.  Ducks and other items of all sizes congregate and wait the magic moment when they are swept into the stream and the race to the finish line starts.  The large ducks often get stuck under the low bridges but that is offset by the small ducks getting entangled in the grass and weeds along the sides of the stream.  One person has to stand with a garden rake to dislodge the stuck ducks and another person is positioned at the finish line to catch the ducks as they rush past so none are lost forever downstream.  Usually the race is over much too soon and a second or third race is suggested to see if the results are the same.

Mr. Buttons

This year we had a special duck to enter in the race, Mr. Buttons.  When we stayed at the Classic Hotel Wien in Vienna, Austria we noticed that they were selling rubber ducks called Mr. Buttons.  This duck looked like a bellboy complete with suitcase and cute red cap.  We approached the desk and explained that we wanted to buy a duck to enter in the duck race.  This announcement was met with disbelief at first then much laughter.  We were given the duck at no cost with the request to send photos of the race to the hotel, hence this little report complete with pictures and our thanks to the wonderful hotel staff.

The contestants lined up for a photo shoot before the race begins.

The spectators enjoying a picnic before the races

Ducks in a row--the contestants begin to line up

And they’re off . . .

For a while it looked like the big duck wearing sunglasses would win but then . . .

Low bridge!  The big duck is stuck and the little ones are trying to get past . . .

And the winner is . . .  Mr. Buttons!

From left to right as they cross the finish line . . .


This was the second race.  Mr. Buttons placed 2nd in the first race – the mini marshmallow won.  The marshmallow had shrunk in size and finished fourth or fifth in the 2nd race then it escaped downstream never to be seen again.

Also this race is much smaller than the Quincy, California rubber duck race held at family reunions on Spanish Creek where ducks are decorated ahead of the race by both children and adults then taken upstream and let go.   All the attendees wait at the cabin cheering on favorites and watching to see which one will cross the finish line first.  That race is also held in July but we missed it this year.  There have been controversial winners, at least on one occasion. 


  1. WOW! We all at Austria Classic Hotel Wien are so proud of Mr. Buttons!!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing Mr. Buttons with us. He loved the race. It was an added bonus that he won. Now he is famous!