Flowing out of the mind and creativity of Dave Johnson, the late Chief Publicity Quacker of the GADR, the beach party duck theme will be the main focus in the pageants, parades and other aspect of the race weekend.
The GADR Committee will honor Johnson's 30-plus years with the duck races as post-humous grand marshal of the Tournament of Ducks parade. The parade is slated for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27.
Designed by Daniel Gonzales, the logo features a duck racing to a day at the beach with an inflatable ring, umbrella and sand pail.
“Dave had a couple of ideas when we had a meeting, and we all kind of agreed on the beach party duck because he really liked that idea,” said Amanda Mauldin-Barnes, vice president of the GADR Committee. And so after he passed, it was just what he wanted, so for sure that’s what we’re going to do.”
Johnson fell ill in March and passed away at age 62.
This year will feature the same competitive events and will add some new attractions for those who plan to attend. A car show, featuring classic show cars in the area will be open for the public as well a beer and wine garden provided by St. Clair Winery. The garden will be a feature from the past that the duck races has worked to bring back for this year.
“Now that Dave’s not here, we’ve all had to step up and take roles of everything that Dave did,” said Mauldin-Barnes. “I just have bigger shoes to fill.”
The annual Great American Tortilla Toss, Great American Outhouse Races and other community favorites will also be held in the spirit and tradition of racing ducks. Live duck racing is still the main attraction on wet and dry tracks. Cash prizes will he awarded to the top finishers on both tracks.
“It's something the whole community looks forwards to. It’s not just one person putting it on, it’s a community event and everybody supports it,” Mauldin-Barnes said.
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