The Duck-A-Thon is also a growing tradition in Huntington Beach, having expanded from a single rubber duck race for prizes at its onset to a whole weekend of philanthropy and family entertainment. This year's event features Hawaiian-themed "aloha" ducks ($20 each to sponsor) that offer double prizes, giant ducks for the separate corporate-sponsored race ($100-$125), a Friday night wine tasting ($40 per person, $50 at the door), and more than 70 booths run by local businesses and organizations, Duck-A-Thon chairwoman Carol Speaker said.
"At first it was pretty much just the duck race," said Speaker, who has worked on the event since its first few years. "We had maybe 20 vendors. Now we're up to 70, and of course we have the wine tasting."
The surrounding Duck Festival has grown as well, festival chairwoman Lynne Trujillo said. Every year has its own character, but this one has something that sparkles.
"It's really interesting," Trujillo said. "We have a lot of different kinds of jewelry vendors, selling iridescent glass and semiprecious stones."
Those and other vendors, such as sellers of children's clothing, service groups, banks, chiropractors, and the nonprofit organizations selling food, have packed the parking lot this year, she said.
"The plaza is already just stuck full," she said. "I can't squeeze another person in there."
As the Duck-A-Thon has grown in size, Speaker said she found more and more people who had it on their radar.
"It's going very well, and I am pleased that the awareness of it in the community seems to be increasing," Speaker said. "I've been wearing duck shirts for two months, and people recognize it."
To sponsor a duck, which range in price from $10 for a single yellow duck to $500 for a flock of corporate ducks, visit www.duck-a-thon.org. Ducks will still be available to buy from 9 a.m. to about 2 p.m. Saturday.