BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Hundreds were in attendance of the 15th annual Rubber Ducky Festival to see rubber ducks race down the Passaic River to a finish line, where they were collected by Boy Scouts waiting in canoes. The purchaser of the winning ducks won prizes, with proceeds benefiting the Boy Scouts and Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights.
"The whole idea came from Mike Knapp, a scout from Troop 268, 15 years ago," said Scout Master Howard Lee. "They went to the Rotary Club the first year and over time it grew into a festival and opened it up to the other scouting units in town."
The festival activities include games, scouting demonstrations, and booths from the event sponsors, as well as an antique car show and a Duck Fest featuring local music talent. But, the main event is focused on the 700 duckies racing down the Passaic River to see who will be the winner of the duck to reach the finish line first.
Prizes are awarded to the top ducks that inclue four box seats to a Yankee game donated by Investor's Bank, 12 monthly flower arrangements by Hall's Garden Center, 50 inch Samsung Flat-Screen HDTV and a 3 month Family Membership to the Berkeley Heights YMCA were awarded to the owners of the top ducks.
Proceeds benefits the Rotary scholarships for Governor Livingston graduating seniors and other local Rotary projects, including the Rotary Medic-Alert program for 200 local solo seniors, sponsoring three Cub Scout packs and two Boy Scout troops including Eagle Scout service projects, supporting the BH Police Department and Rescue Squad, the Public and all five school libraries, the Memorial Park Committee, YMCA Strong Kids, the Interact student service club at Governor Livingston, annual blood drives, and wherever needs arise.