EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — More than 100 volunteers on Wednesday gathered at the Eastside Centre in East Peoria to tag 30,000 ducks for the oldest duck race in the country on Saturday.
The 34th Annual Duck Race is the Center for Prevention of Abuse‘s signature and longest-running fundraiser. Proceeds from the race benefit the center’s client services programs for survivors of human trafficking and domestic violence.
“It signifies so much of what we do… It’s about hope. It’s about bringing that joy about all the things that we do for our vision of peace and help,” said Carol Merna, CEO of the Center for Prevention of Abuse.
Merna said it’s amazing to see so many volunteers come out every year. She said they will be able to tag all 30,000 ducks in a few hours.
“It’s a great spirit. Everybody really enjoys spending time with each other. I love to hear the chatter. They take the labels off from the last race, put the new labels on for this race, and it really works very smoothly,” she said.
On Saturday at 6 p.m., the ducks will race down a 1,000-foot waterslide at the Eastside Centre. The first 15 ducks past the finish line win a prize, including a grand prize of $10,000.
The festivities begin at 4 p.m. with food trucks and live music.
There are a few hundred ducks left for adoption. To adopt a duck (or 20) visit duckracepeoria.com. The event sold out last year.