Duck race popular on hot day

Published 10:14 am Thursday, July 25, 2019

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By KC Smith

Cooleemee Correspondent

The 10th annual Duck Race at RiverPark/Cooleemee Falls “Bull Hole” was held July 20.

It was hot and the South Yadkin was cold and refreshing.

It was hot and the many shades trees welcomed.

It was hot and the hotdogs were delicious and the slushies cooled our throats.   

It was hot and the duck race was back and we all had a great time.

“I am so excited that more and more people are discovering the RiverPark,” said Benita Finney, RiverPark events coordinator. “We were blessed with a beautiful day for the Duck Race and are so grateful for everyone who helped make the event successful.  Plans are already under way for the Catfish Fry on Oct. 19.”

First place winner who won $250 was Edwin Owens; second place, Steve Allred, $100; and third place, Ed Hinkle $50.

The skies were crystal clear with fluffy white clouds, no haze in sight just beautiful sunshine.

Previous years a storm would always come up right after the race was complete and all the ducks were scooped up for next year’s event.   

Earlier in the day I thought I saw a small purple arched band above the trees at the pump house and heard a faint rumble, but thought not this year, it’s not going to rain.

Walking up the scenic hill to the parking lot a large family was headed down with arms full of food and bags of watermelon.

As the food truck was lowering the extended awning, the wind started blowing, dry hot dust started whirling, the large family was surely coming back up the hill because of lightning and I was able to jump in my car before the much needed downpour arrived.

Some things just don’t change, every year we raise money to maintain our beloved RiverPark and the rains come to another successful event.

We couldn’t do it without the help of the O’Neal family.  They are so easy to work with, dependable with a great system. They dump ‘em in and scoop ‘em out.  Thank you.

Thank you to all the emergency crews that were sitting and waiting to handle any situation. Parking was extended to the field and those who managed that did a great job.

Thank you to those who bought tickets, for buying a t-shirt, ate food, ate ice cream, got sand between their toes and played safe in the water.

To our surprise, Our State Magazine sent a photographer and a writer to the event and we can look forward to the feature next year.

We’ll do it again next year and it will be bigger and better.

Contact me at or 336.250.1133. I would   love to hear from you.