The duckies swim again on the Fourth of July

The annual rubber duckie race kicked off in Colusa on the Sacramento River on Saturday, a Fourth of July tradition that has been happening for more than 15 years. 


The Fourth of July is largely about traditions and celebrating America’s birthday with friends and family amidst barbecues, picnics and fireworks. 

There was a lot going on in the Yuba-Sutter-Colusa region on Saturday, July 4, starting with the annual rubber duckie race, which has been going on for multiple decades as a local fundraiser. 

Many engaged in the holiday tradition for the first time on Saturday afternoon. 

Colusa resident Sandy Camp said her husband Bill is usually working on the Fourth, but this year was not due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

So the two bought four ducks and came out to the river to watch them fly down the current to the River Road Bridge. 

Sandy said their duck didn’t win but could have placed in the top 3. There are hundreds of ducks in the water all clumped together, so sometimes it takes a while to sort out the top finishers. 

Sandy said she will be notified if she won. 

Overall, it was a fun time in a year when lots of normal has been taken away due to COVID-19. 

“I think that’s important for Colusa to have things that are traditional,” Camp said. 

Believe it or not, rubber duckie races happen all over the country, according to Yuba City resident Jessica Swope. 

Swope, 21, used to travel to Ticonderoga, New York where a duck race would take place and even travel 30 feet down a waterfall.

“Other than that it was exactly the same (as Colusa’s),” said Swope, 21. “It’s a cool thing for kids to do.” 

It’s also a safe event during an ongoing public health crisis. 

“It’s outdoors, easy to keep a distance and enjoy a community event,” Swope said. 

Afterward, Swope said she would take part in the other traditional aspects of the Fourth of July. 

“Fireworks and barbecue help keep your mind off everything,” Swope said.

The results are in:

Derek Mench had the winning duckie and took home the $500 first place prize. Second place went to Kevin Myers and third place went to James Welcome.

Event coordinator Jim Pingrey said 832 tickets were sold this year at $5 a piece. 

“$1500 will go to Egling middle school for Shady Creek camp,” said Pingrey. “The balance will go to other organizations we normally contribute to.”


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