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Blackwater Pyrates' Duck Race to look different in 2020

Special to Gannett
People cool off Thursday before the Milltown Duck Race on the Blackwater River. [FILE PHOTO]

While we are all living through the cancellation of event after event nationwide, the Milton Blackwater Pyrates are planning to move ahead with their annual Fourth of July “Duck Race.” 

The rescheduled event will take place on Sept. 5 at noon in the gazebo at Veteran’s Memorial Park. Winners will be announced and contacted following a raffle drawing.

“Traditionally, the ducks are dropped by front end loader off of the Blackwater River Bridge in downtown Milton at the Fourth of July festival, and they race down a special chute erected in the river. But the Fourth of July event was cancelled, as was the rescheduled event planned for Labor Day,” said Vickie McKee, aka SasSea, who coordinates the Pyrates’ duck race.

McKee said over 3,000 ducks have been “adopted” out already in advance of the race, and “adoptees” expect that, since this is in effect a raffle, someone will figure out a way to choose and announce winners.

“In lieu of dropping the ducks off of the bridge this year, we will instead be choosing the winners via a drawing," McKee said. "The number corresponding to every racing duck that has been adopted out will be placed in a container, and the traditional first, second, and third prize winners will be drawn.”

The Blackwater Pyrates, dressed in their full Pyrate attire, will be on hand to witness the event. Other local dignitaries will also be present.

“We wanted to make sure that the show would go on,” said Mark Flores, aka Captain Murky. “After all, this is an annual event, and the folks of Milton expect it.”

There is still time to get in on the action and adopt a duck before the drawing. Ducks are available at the Blackwater Bistro and can be adopted for a $5 donation to the Blackwater Pyrates. Each adoptee receives a token racing duck and a chance to win the grand prize.