Duck Day going strong after 14 years 

People look on as thousands of rubber ducks are dumped into the Naugatuck River from the Whittemore Bridge in Naugatuck last year to begin the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s annual duck race. –FILE PHOTO

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce’s Duck Day and Festival hasn’t lost any luster heading into its 14th year.

The annual festival attracts thousands of people to downtown Naugatuck every year, a feat that Naugatuck Chamber Director Courtney Ligi said makes those who work six months a year organizing the event excited to see all the happy and smiling faces year after year.

This year, throngs of festival-goers will descend on Maple Street Sunday for the 14th annual Duck Race & Festival.

The festival kicks off at 11 a.m., rain or shine, and goes until 4 p.m. The festival will feature dozens of food vendors, business vendors and crafters. There will be rides, a dunk tank, carnival games, children’s activities — the slime station is back — and live music by Measured Soul.

New this year is the “Duck Escape,” a scavenger hunt-style game run by the chamber. For $3 per player, people can enter the game at the chamber’s booth and begin searching for 10 hidden ducks. Once players enter, they will be given a clue to the location of the first duck, and each subsequent duck will have another clue to the location of the next. As players complete different levels, they will be entered into a raffle for 10 prizes. The drawing will be at 3 p.m.

The highlight of the day is the annual duck race. At 2 p.m. sharp, thousands of rubber ducks will be dumped into the Naugatuck River from the Whittemore Bridge. Each duck will carry the hopes of raffle ticket holders looking to win one of 30 prizes, including a grand prize of $5,000 cash. Gift certificates, rounds of golf, an Amazon Echo Show 2nd Generation and a Nintendo Switch are among the other 29 prizes.

Those lucky enough to have the winning ducks won’t be the only ones that come out ahead. The chamber works with dozens of local nonprofit organizations to sell duck race tickets. Each ticket is $5, and the nonprofits keep $2.50 from each ticket they sell.

Over the past 13 years, nonprofits have raised more than $383,000 by selling tickets according to the chamber.

Tickets for the duck race will be available for a limited time Sunday at booths set up at the festival. For information or to reserve duck race tickets, visit www.cometoduckday.com.