Festival back for 18th year

Beacon Falls Lions Club member Michael Krenesky, left, and club President Bill Mis release hundreds of rubber ducks into the Naugatuck River for the club’s annual Duck Race last year. -FILE PHOTO

Beacon Falls Lions Club member Michael Krenesky, left, and club President Bill Mis release hundreds of rubber ducks into the Naugatuck River for the club’s annual Duck Race last year. -FILE PHOTO

BEACON FALLS — The town is preparing for a day of ducks, music and running.

The 18th annual Beacon Falls River Festival and Duck Race is set to kick off at noon on Saturday at Volunteer Park behind Beacon Hose Company No. 1 on North Main Street.

This year, the day will begin with the inaugural Jill’s Race for MS.

The race is a 5K in honor of former Beacon Falls resident Jill Betkoski, who had multiple sclerosis and died 10 years ago at the age of 48. The money raised from the race will benefit the Connecticut Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

The race steps off at 10 a.m. at the Pent Road Recreation Complex, 100 Pent Road. For more information, visit www.lightboxreg.com/jills-race-for-ms.

From 12 to 5 p.m. festive activities, including food, crafts, vendors and live music by the Naugatuck-based Rubber City Blues Band, will take place at Volunteer Park.

The day’s events are organized by the Beacon Falls Lions Club.

Lion’s Club President William Mis said the festival will feature food vendors such as New Harvest Restaurant, an ice cream truck, and Spanish food. Beacon Hose will also be selling roast beef sandwiches and fried dough, as well as a variety of beer, he added.

The annual duck race will start at 3:45 p.m. Festival goers can purchase duck raffle tickets up to 30 minutes before the start of the race. Raffle tickets are $5 each and prizes are given to the top nine finishers.

This year’s prizes include a flat-screen TV, his and hers Fitbits, and a variety of gift certificates, Mis said.

The duck race, which is traditionally the club’s largest fundraiser, raises money towards scholarships, eye research, and international nonprofit organizations, Mis said.

Mis said the festival is a good time and a good way to give back to the community.

“People can come out, hear some good music and have some nice food,” Mis said. “It will be a chance to support the Lions Club. That’s why we do it, to raise money to help the less fortunate.”