Duck Day turns 10

Hundreds of people fill Maple Street in Naugatuck during the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s annual Duck Day and Race last year. Duck Day is June 7 this year. –FILE PHOTO

Hundreds of people fill Maple Street in Naugatuck during the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s annual Duck Day and Race last year. Duck Day is June 7 this year. –FILE PHOTO

NAUGATUCK — The borough will mark a decade of ducks next weekend.

The Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s 10th annual Duck Day and Race is June 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. along Maple and Water streets in downtown Naugatuck.

“It’s a great event in Naugatuck that raises money for countless charitable organizations and community clubs. There are a lot of families that look forward to this day,” Mayor Robert Mezzo said.

The day’s main event is the annual duck race. Tickets for rubber ducks are sold for $5 by area organizations. At 2 p.m. sharp thousands of rubber ducks will be dumped into the Naugatuck River from the Whittemore Bridge on Maple Street.

The first 20 ducks that cross the finish line will win prizes for their ticket holders. The top five prizes are $5,000, a 5 carat diamond gold tennis bracelet, $500, an Apple iPad Air 2, and a $500 gift certificate to Roma’s Ristorante.

Waterbury Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Events and Social Media Director Courtney Ligi said the ticket holders aren’t the only winners of the duck race. The chamber works with over 60 nonprofits and donates $2.50 for each duck ticket sold.

The event has raised more than $300,000 for area nonprofits over the past nine years, Ligi said.

There are plenty of festivities leading up to and following the duck race, including games, vendors, circus performers, a duck tank, and live music by Blu Union and the Rubber City Blues Band.

The festival is also bringing back one of its more popular attractions: the Halloween in June costume contest. To enter the contest, people should wear their costume to Duck Day and register at the Halloween in June tent on Maple Street between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on June 7.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the winners in several age categories, and overall for the best costume and best duck costume. The costumes will be judged on creativity, originality and presentation. Anyone entering the costume contest will receive a free ticket to the Haunted House.

New to duck day this year is a chili cook-off. The cook-off will feature Naugatuck and Waterbury’s “People’s Choice Awards” winners with local celebrity chefs and cooks from the Naugatuck and Waterbury fire departments.

“It’s a fun, competitive challenge,” Ligi said.

Duck Day is about bringing the community together, Ligi said.

“It’s a really an all-around fun, family event,” Ligi said. “It’s fun to see the community come together.”

For more information, visit www.duckday.com.