The unflappable Murphys Duck Races are back again

Frogs may be the animal that jumps to mind when talking about Calaveras County but during July in Murphys it’s all about the ducks.

This Saturday, July 21, the Calaveras Humane Society will host the 16th Annual Murphys Duck Races. The races will be held in conjunction with the 62nd Murphys Homecoming. Both events will take place in historic Murphys Park.

Th98Ducks2is will be the Humane Society’s second year acting as host of the Duck Races after taking over for the Murphys Volunteer Library in 2011. When asked about the transition of responsibilities, interim Humane Society President Karen Elliott said that there had not been too many difficult obstacles to overcome last year.

“Overall we experienced good cooperation from everyone,” she said.

Some minor changes have accompanied this year’s preparations for the event. Elliott hopes that increased advertising prior to the races will help bump up attendance numbers from last year. It seems to be working as pre-sale ticket numbers are already higher now than they were at the same time in 2011.

Elliott hopes the races will raise at least $3,000. All proceeds from the Duck Races will benefit the Humane Society and go toward spay and neuter programs, classroom support programs, nutrition and medical care for animals and fostering, one of the nonprofit organization’s most expensive programs according to Elliott.

The event is free to attend. Those wishing to participate in the race can rent a rubber duck by purchasing a ticket that corresponds to a numbered duck. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for kids.

At 1 p.m. the first of five races will begin. There will be three adult races and two races for children. Ducks will be dropped into Murphys Creek and retrieved at the park. Prizes, donated by local businesses, will be awarded to the top three finishers in each race.

“It’s a fun event to watch, and the children have such fun in the water retrieving the ducks,” said Elliott.

Tickets are currently on sale at select locations from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday up until the day of the races. Ticket locations include Sierra Hills Market and Yogurt Your Way in Murphys and Calaveras Humane Society Thrift Stores in Arnold and San Andreas. Any leftover tickets will be sold the day of the event. Volunteers are also needed to help herd ducks.

For more information call 736-9417.

Contact Kristine Williams at kristine@calaverasenterprise.com.