NAUGATUCK — The ducks had some competition from some not-so-cute characters during Sunday’s annual Duck Day event.
Several thousand people attended the 8th annual Naugatuck Duck Day and Race, several hundred of them witnessing some 14,000 ducks being dumped in the Naugatuck River for the annual race.
A Halloween in June competition became part of Duck Day last year after bad weather put a damper on that holiday.
In its second year, dozens of Halloween in June participants turned heads with entries from ghoulish to bizarre.
A haunted house put together by volunteers was popular with a constant line of people waiting to get in. Screams from the haunted house only encouraged those wanting to get inside.
The annual event raises money for some 80 local charities, which also sell rubber ducks for the race.
Lynn Ward, president and CEO of Waterbury Regional Chamber, said about 2,000 fewer ducks were sold this year, but the new attractions, vendors and good weather helped make the event a success.
Organizers were still tallying their proceeds Sunday night, but Ward said $14,005 was raised from the sale of ducks alone.
Local businesses contributed by providing prizes for the popular raffle. Ward said some 100 people volunteered.
New and popular attractions were added this year, including a classic car show from Brass City Cruisers.
Jenny Weiloch of Coventry won the best costume contest and its $2,000 prize. Dressed as a Zombie Puritan mother, she rocked a ghoulish baby in one arm as she strolled around, her long gown blowing in the wind and her bonnet stained the color of red dirt.
Weiloch and her husband, Jim, and three of their ghoulish friends parked their ride, a black hearse, in front of the parking garage that held the haunted house. They are part of Dark Walk, an amateur group of as many of 200 people who enjoy dressing up as Halloween characters.
Not all who dressed up were ghoulish, however.
Madeline Siefert, a fifth-grader at Hillside Intermediate School, was dressed as a Duck Day Flapper in a sequined dress complete with matching headpiece with a purple duck in the center.
Her sister, Jacqueline Siefert, who works as an assistant fashion designer in Newport, R.I., altered a dress she wore for Halloween to fit her little sister, adding appropriate touches for the duck race, including a faux diamond on the chest of the plastic duck.
The Siefert sisters and their mother, Eva Siefert, an arts teacher in Naugatuck, said they come out every year with Madeline usually dressing for the costume competition.
“We make it a point to support Naugatuck things,” Eva Siefert said.
See more photos of Duck Day here.
Winners of the Naugatuck Duck Race:
$5,000 cash, Ed Parzyck
5 CT diamond gold tennis bracelet, Mike Anthony
$500 gift certificate to Brass Mill Center, Allen Aldrich
Sony 40 inch LED 1080 HDTV, Judy Griesbach
4 box seats to June 18 Yankees game, Ina Shule
Apple iPad Mini, Ron Boisclair
Vera Bradley gift set, Joey Daniels
$175 gift certificate to Bounce N Play Rentals, Marsha Muir
Gateway for two to Waterbury including Courtyard Marriott stay, Samantha Carroll
4 tickets to Broadway series at The Palace Theater, Jeff Ticehurst
2 passes to Six Flags, Bill Demers
2 tickets to Mohawk Mountain, Jackie Crockett
2 tickets to Ski Sundown, John Weaver
4 passes on Essex Steam Train and River Boat, Marie Dufour
Designer sunglasses, Arias Family
$75 Toys “R” Us gift certificate, Maureen Andolena
Women’s Timex watch and 4 museum passes, Ashlyn Russo
Men’s Timex watch and 4 museum passes, Wendy Doolan
Sony BlueRay DVD Player, Andres Dohon
Bowling party for 6 with pizza and soda at Lakewood Lanes, Cynthia Jones
2 all day passes to Quassy Amusement Park, Connie Brush
$25 Toys “R” Us gift certificate, Ann Hooker
$25 Toys “R” Us gift certificate, Margaret Keating
4 passes to Kid City Children’s Museum, Judy Giusto
4 passes to Lutz Children’s Museum, Tommy Urss