CHICAGO — Over 60,0000 rubber ducks dumped into the Chicago River Thursday afternoon raced for a good cause at the annual Chicago Ducky Derby.
The fundraiser benefiting Special Olympics Illinois attracts thousands of onlookers to the river every year. The Michigan Avenue bridge was partly raised up around 12:45 p.m. Thursday so a large truck full of rubber ducks could back up to the very edge. As the “race” began, the truck dumped all thousands of rubber ducks into the Chicago River below.
Fire boats following on the river sprayed water towards the floating bath toys, which followed a path made by special nets towards the finish line: a small chute the width of a single duck.
Each rubber duck represents a donation made to Special Olympics Illinois for the occasion, and a total of 60,286 were sold, according to the official website. The money raised goes towards supporting more than 23,000 athletes involved in its programs, the organization said.
Although most race for bragging rights, winning ducks could score an owner a brand new SUV, $2,500 cash, or an all-inclusive vacation to the Riviera Maya.