The Westport Sunrise Rotary Club’s “Great Duck Race” attracted a crowd to cheer on the rubber duckies Saturday. / Photo by Jarret Liotta
Getting the drop on thousands of rubber ducks. / Photo by Jarret Liotta

By Jarret Liotta

WESTPORT — Having gotten its ducks in a row in a new way, the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club’s big fundraiser made a splash Saturday afternoon. 

The “Great Duck Race,” which featured more than 2,500 yellow rubber ducks competing for charity, was held on Jesup Green for the first time, rather than on the Saugatuck River.

Flood gates open and a deluge of ducks is on the move. / Photo by Jarret Liotta

Club members set up an enclosed tank of sorts, where the ducks were dumped from a payloader. 

Members of the Westport Fire Department helped out by pumping water into the enclosure to wash the ducks along the race course in what was a fast dash to the finish line. 

A $5,000 top prize was awarded to the person holding the ticket number assigned to the first duck to finish. Second prize was $1,000, and there were eight $500 third prizes.

People were able to sponsor ducks at $20 each, with money raised benefiting 40 different charities — local and international — that the Sunrise Rotary supports.

“We’re happy to see so many people come down to enjoy a day of family fun and buy a ticket,” said longtime club member Roy Fuchs.

The 13th annual event also featured food trucks and activities on the green.

Visit the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club website for more information about the group.

The crowd on Jesup Green gets ready to see the ducks dumped into the sluiceway. / Photo by Jarret Liotta
Waiting for the winner. / Photo by Jarret Liotta
Luna Tokatlian, 4, of Westport, and her sister Ella, 7, look over the duck table/ / Photo by Jarret Liotta
Testing the waters. / Photo by Jarret Liotta
Above: Joe Watson sets up a racer. / Photos by Jarret Liotta

Right: Ronan Hakala, 2, of Milford tests out his racer.
Rubber duckies aplenty flocked to Saturday’s “Great Duck Race.” / Photo by Jarret Liotta
On Jesup Green, the new venue for Saturday’s “Great Duck Race.” / Photo by Jarret Liotta