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Rotary’s Duck Derby and Family YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day Expected to Pack Patriots Park

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June 22, 2021

By Robert Kimmel –

Patriots Park is expected to be bustling with people reveling in the activities within its boundaries this coming Sunday, June 27.  They will be there to enjoy the Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns’ Duck Derby and Family YMCA’s Healthy Kids Day.

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Spectators will witness six rubber duck race heats in Andre Brook, beginning at 11:15 a.m., with the winners of those races participating in a grand final race. Adopters of the winners in the six racing rounds will each receive $100 prizes, and their ducks will be entered into the grand final race. Each of those preliminary winners will also receive a $75 certificate for dining at a local restaurant, provided by The Hudson Independent. The winner of the grand final race goes home with a $1,500 prize from the Rotary.

This year’s Derby will be the 14th consecutive duck racing contest conducted by the Rotary, which joined forces with the YMCA for their combined events beginning in 2008.  The races will also be live streamed on the Rotary’s Facebook this year.  All will be completed before 2 p.m.

The Y’s Healthy Kids Day will feature a variety of activities, including a new event, a Walkathon, that will also offer prizes. The Walkathon consists of children and families strolling along the path surrounding the park, five, ten, fifteen, or twenty times. The Y is cooperating with the Rivertown Runners to offer prizes for the event, with the 2021 Sleepy Hollow 10k race bib donated as the first prize to the adult who walks around the most times.

Traditional activities presented annually by the Y will be returning this Sunday. It will be hosting a Dance Party, with a DJ, from 11 a.m. when the park opens, to 1 p.m. Tumbling for children ages 10 and under will be conducted by the Y’s Cheer Director, Cindy Guzman. There will also be rides, Y Arts and Crafts, face painting.

This year, bracelets permitting children’s access to the rides, and other activities, will cost $5, rather than the usual $10.  The reduction was made, “in order to help those families that may be struggling, and make it easier for everyone to come out and put play in their day,” explained Lesa Dalton, the Family Y’s Associate Executive Director.

At the event, the Y is also hosting 20 children from Irvington’s Abbott House as its guests for Healthy Kids Day. Abbott House cares for refugee children, and provides schooling for them until a relative or sponsor can take over their care. The Family Y at Tarrytown has been assisting Abbott House in a number of ways for the past few years.

Adoption of the Ducks vying for prizes in the Derby races has been going well, according to Rotarian JoAnne Murray, a co-organizer of the event with Mimi Godwin.  Both have held those posts since the first Derby, and are seen roaming the park in large duck costumes every year.

Duck adoptions have taken place online via the Rotary Club of the Tarrytown’s Facebook page; but that capability ends Thursday morning. However, adoptions will still be available at the Rotary’s booth during the Derby. The adoption fee for a single duck is $10. A “Six Quack” is $50, and a “Tub-of-Ducks,” 13 of them, costs $100.  Multiple ducks adopted by one person are separated for entry in several of the preliminary races.

As the ducks skim down Andre Brook they are assisted by the Tarrytown Fire Department whose hoses have annually propelled water into the stream to keep the small rubber figures moving swiftly.

For those who come to the park with an appetite, there will be food available.  Hope Hose Engine 79, and Conqueror Hook and Ladder 37 of the Tarrytown Fire Department will offer food from their traditional barbeque.  Melt Mobile will providing grilled sandwiches, while Jimmy’s Soft Serve and Andy’s Italian Ices are also going to be present.

Both the Rotary and YMCA emphasize that remaining Covid-19 CDC requirements will be followed and those who have not been vaccinated are advised to come to the park wearing a mask.

Assistance from local businesses and organizations helps the Rotary present the Derby. Clarfeld Citizens Private Wealth, Phelps Hospital-Northwell Health, and Kendal on Hudson are Presenting Sponsors with some twenty additional backers supporting the event. Many sponsors and other groups will be manning booths at the park to provide material about their organizations and other helpful information.  The Hudson Independent will conduct a free, “Patriots Park” drawing with amusement park tickets as prizes.

Funds raised by the Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns are directed toward scholarships and various charitable organizations and helpful causes within the local communities.  The Family YMCA’s generosity takes the form of financial aid to its members and participants who need such support.

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