Ducks in training for the big race

Special to The Log

Adopt a duck and enjoy a day of family fun at the Third Annual Emerald Coast Duck Regatta from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at The Village of Baytowne Wharf. Proceeds from this event will help fund new and/or improved hospital services at Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast.

Make a donation of $10 or more to Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast Guild to adopt a duck. You will receive an adoption certificate that has a registration number corresponding to your duck number(s). Winners will be determined based on the first qualifying ducks to finish the race and be gathered in the duck trap.

One duck is $10; 3 for $27; 6 for $50; and a dozen for $100.

Ducks will be available for adoption at or in the Sacred Heart Hospital Gift Shop from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays until noon on day of event.

Duck adopters need not be present to win. Winners not present at the event will be notified by mail or phone by Oct.14.

Activities begin at 10 a.m. with children’s activities including a scavenger hunt and Abrakadoodle face painting. The race begins at 1 p.m. with up to 5,000 ducks racing across the Baytowne Wharf Lagoon.

New this year and courtesy of Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, children will ride free on the Baytowne Carousel from 11 a.m. to noon. From race cars and dragons to zebras and reindeers, a child's adventurous side comes alive with the festive lights and music at the Baytowne Carousel.

Courtesy of Russ Scott, owner of Adventure Zone, children will have free access to the Zip line, Mini Ropes Course, Sky Trail Ropes Course, and Eurobungy from 11 a.m. to noon.

The target this year is to raise $45,000 for the hospital, compared to $34,000 at last year’s event. The goal is to race more than 4,000 little plastic ducks across the Lagoon, compared to 3,000 last year.