Overview and Registration

30th Annual TC Optimist Boardman River Duck Race

Thursday, July 6, 2017, at 4 p.m.

(Kids Day of National Cherry Festival) @ UNION ST. BRIDGE

Every year on the first Thursday of the National Cherry Festival in downtown Traverse City,  the Traverse City Optimist Club holds its annual Boardman River Duck Race. The starting point for this race is by the U.S. Post Office off of the Union Street Bridge.Here participants may purchase and enter their ducks into the race.

30th Annual Optimist Duck Race Brochure

Corporate & Motorized Duck Registration Form

Ducks also available thru many local 501c3 youth organizations where you can purchase them to directly support their operations.

Fox RadioYou can also “Tune – In” and Listen on Race Day by turning to, – Fox 94.3 – Radio – The Duck Station

Want to be a “Friend of Youth” Event Sponsor?

Great thanks, recognition, and pride come to those that make this event possible. You truly are ~friends of youth~  Bronze $250, Silver $500, Gold $1000 may be purchased on the Adopt A Duck page.

 What is the TC Optimist Boardman Duck Race?

duckrace (30)

Each year a sea of adopted rubber ducks will race down the mighty Boardman River in Traverse City raising funds for your favorite youth charities.

Top finishing ducks will win great prizes and the first place duck will win the Grand Prize.

Your adoption donation ($5 for one duck or $25 for a 6 quack of 6 ducks), will be used by the TC Optimist Club in the support of local youth groups in our area. You do not need to be present to participate or win!

Your generous duck adoption funds go to support local youth organizations and you can direct your funds by purchasing them directly through groups selling these ducks including:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Child and Family Services
  • Twin Bay Skating Club
  • Great Lakes Children’s Museum
  • T C High School Orchestra
  • Northwest Warriors Hockey Team
  • High School Track Team
  • CMU Skating Club
  • TC Alliance Rugby Football Club
  • Many more!

How does duck adoption work?

Through the online form or through your favorite participating youth group organizations.

The adoption paper, along with the donation ($5 for one duck or $25 for a 6 quack of 6 ducks), is turned into the Optimist Club for monitoring. Each duck will have a number, which corresponds with its owner’s adoption paper. A receipt with your duck or duck’s numbers will be given to you or emailed back to you if registering online.

Want to be a Corporate Duck Event Supporter?

Corporate battle ducks are available through the Optimist Club for $100 each. Corporate Duck ribbons will be awarded for best design and top 3 finishers. Join us for our business owners division in support of youth

  • All ducks must be delivered and registered at the bridge by 3:30 pm.
  • Ducks will be dropped from the bridge at 4 pm, and finish at the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce.
  • The event will be broadcast live on the radio. Online orders must be submitted no later than the day before the event