[KHTS] – The 12th annual Rubber Ducky Festival benefiting Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers drew hundreds of Santa Clarita Valley residents to Bridgeport Park on Saturday.
The event featured live performances, dozens of vendors, a rock climbing wall and a rubber ducky race with three grand prize winners.
“This is a race that’s a fundraiser for the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers,” said Ed Bolden, event chairman, board member and vice chairman of the organization. “The purpose is to do primary care for people who are uninsured or under-insured. Nobody is turned away and you pay what you can afford.”
Residents had the opportunity to participate in the race for $5 per duck. Event officials held three qualifying heats throughout the day, and the winners from those heats went on to the final race where they competed for the grand prize of $2,500, second grand prize of $1,500 and third grand prize of $500.
“I’m delighted to see these people all here today,” Bolden said. “They’re buying ducks and hopefully they’ll win some prizes.”
During each heat, hundreds of ducks were released from Bolden Pond into the “churning rapids” of a man-made waterway. The first duck to enter the finisher’s chute was declared the winner.
Bolden estimated about 500 community members would attend the event throughout the day to participate in the race and enjoy numerous family-friendly activities, including face painting by CalArts volunteers, balloon animals and live performances by singers, dancers, cultural arts performers and the classic rock band MLB Express.
New to this year’s event was the “Chunk-A-Duck” competition, which featured batches of rubber ducks being launched from an air cannon.
“It’s awesome to see that we’re growing in the community,” said Katie Simers, one of the event’s organizers and a spokeswoman for Samuel Dixon. “All of the funds from today go directly to fund patient care for people that wouldn’t normally be able to afford it.”