Europe even does charity events better! On Saturday Brock and I drove the hour into Luxembourg for the annual duck race. 15,000 plastic ducks would be let loose on a river in Luxembourg city, racing to the finish line. Each duck could be sponsored for €5 and the sponsor of the winning duck would win a brand new Suzuki Vitara! How fun! I pre-ordered our 6 ducks online and was assigned numbers 14215 through 14220. The weather was a bit iffy that day so I was in no rush to get to the event early, but we did make it just in time.
The hosting park, the vallée de la Pétrusse, was truly stunning. On either side of the DEEP valley was ruins of old fortifications. The park had a mini train ride, paved and wooden walkways, an outdoor gym and climbing wall, and right through the middle ran the Pétrusse river, which looked more like a canal, but whatever.
We got to the starting line with 5 minutes to spare before the first heat so we found an open area on the bank and got ready for the count down. Here is a clip I found of the start:
And they were off!
We followed the ducks down to the end and watched the workers collect them all from the river.
SO MANY DUCKS!
In between heats we checked out the rest of the festival. Brock was very excited to get his first balloon animal- as a hat.
And the fundraiser in me took note. What a successful event! Aside from the opportunity to sponsor a duck, they also had a great way to encourage spending at the vendor stands. Instead of paying cash at each tent for your brats, beer, and frites, the organizers sold duck dollars which were then marked as you spent them at the table. As you see, I bought a €10 ticket and only spend €8 so they made a little extra off me.
New this year was a competition for children—school classes decorated ducks as a team and they were on display. The winning class won a field trip to the Zoo in nearby France.
You would think this was a kid event, but it definitely wasn’t. Yes, there were plenty of children there having a blast, but for every child there was at least 20 adults. This was the perfect example of a fun, charity event combined with an adult party. The beer, champagne, and wine was flowing and everyone, big and small, was having a blast.
In his frog suit, Brock had a blast! He splashed in puddles, waved to the people on the mini train as they passed, cheered for the ducks, and goofed around for some selfies with mommy :).
My 6 ducks did not win any of the top 30 prizes, but all in all Brock and I had a really fun day date. What a fun way to raise funds for charity and encourage community participation!
What is next for us? Help me decide! Fil will be away for Memorial Day, but I want to take Brock to one of the American Cemeteries over here for their services that weekend. So, should I go to Luxembourg, Belgium, France or the Netherlands– I don’t know how I will decide.