Ye Olde Annual Grand Bangor Rubber Duck Race

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October 16th 2009
Published: October 16th 2009
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Over a month ago I had the pleasure of enjoying my first strange event near my new home on the Eastern Seaboard. After years of training from watching Gilmore Girls, I moved to Maine with the expectation of odd East-Coast-small-town festivals and celebrations. Not that Minnesota is oddity-less, take the Garlic Fest or the Annual International Eelpout Festival as proof. A few weeks after my arrival in Maine, I had my first shot at interesting: the Great Bangor Rubber Duck Race. The thrill of the race was cut short for me as it was the same day I wound up visiting the ER for a lengthy period of time. However, my brief glimpse of duck racing was a brief glimpse of glory.

The date: September 12
The time: Shortly before 10am

Several minutes before the race was set to begin, it became clear that race officials were not sure where the ducks should be dropped. Four kayaks in the canal running through town displayed little movement in either directions. The approximately 1000 rubber ducks were dropped into the canal at the original starting point, which proved disadvantageous to all involved. There was virtually no current in the canal (except for a few unlucky ducks that began to float backwards, away from the race), so the Official Race Kayakers (Orks) took matters into their own hands. For ten or fifteen minutes, they queued up behind the ducks, building up enough speed to power through the masses and attempt to build a current. The results were lackluster. Next up on the agenda was the move that saved the day: Rubber duck by rubber duck, the Orks threw those losing the race to the frontlines. Moving forward in a delicate weave, the 5 Orks in 4 kayaks pushed the ducks en masse toward the finish line. Their patience appeared to wear thin near the end of the race, when they gave up the charade and began to declare winners 20 feet shy of the finish line. Based on my experience gained from faux-East Coast festivals on Gilmore Girls, I expected no less - and certainly, no more.

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


a few got a head starta few got a head start
a few got a head start

- good thing it wont matter

Their big day out
oh. ...apparently this is the end.oh. ...apparently this is the end.
oh. ...apparently this is the end.

The race is over a ways short of the finish line.

Tot: 1.36s; Tpl: 0.059s; cc: 13; qc: 69; dbt: 0.0373s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.4mb