Mothers and grandmothers are almost giddy with anticipation—fathers and grandfathers are eagerly going off to find Banner Elk’s Tate-Evans Park to reconnoiter the race track for this Saturday’s big Duck Races! Kids just love the little ducks!
Whether it’s a year of not celebrating the big Independence Day weekend, a fascination with small ducks, or a fascination with small-town Banner Elk, excitement is building for the 4th of July Parade, the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk’s Party in the Park and accompanying Duck Races.
Tasty lunch-time offerings from local vendors, old-timey children’s games, music and the naming of Best Dressed Duck are some highlights of the park offerings.
The Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the July 3 parade beginning at 11 a.m., followed by the park opening at noon. The Town of Banner Elk also is hosting an Art on the Greene event Saturday and Sunday, July 3 an 4. Something for everyone!
Small ducks have been for sale around town this week, including at the Concert in the Park, this Thursday; they also will be available at the park. Cost of the little souvenir quackers is $5, and numbers on the bottoms of the ducks will correspond to duck racers actually challenging the Shawneehaw Creek waters. Winning ducks in each of four races will garner $100, runner-ups will win $50. Catch is—YOU MUST BE PRESENT TO WIN! First race will be at 12:30 pm; last race will begin at 1:45 p.m. Children’s games will run from 1-3 pm.
The Best Dressed Duck will be introduced mid-races, and will be chosen from among the many large ducks creatively decorated by business co-sponsors of the event.
Long-time race sponsor, Big Duck Games, again is anchoring this fund-raising and fun event, hosted by the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk. The Banner Elk Tourism Development Authority has contributed to making the event happier and healthier as COVID winds down but still lurks in the shadows.
Proceeds of the party in the park and the duck races will be given by Kiwanis to programs and projects in the High Country that make life better for children and families. Although the Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk could not earn and therefore not distribute funds last year because of COVID, the club hopes to be able to again distribute approximately $50,000 from this and other 2021 fund raisers. Anyone who just wants to donate to the cause is always appreciated.