Rotary’s Duck Derby, Y’s Healthy Kids Day Set for Patriot’s Park

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by Robert Kimmel – 

Patriot’s Park’s four acres will be packed with exciting activities, entertainment, food services, and more, on Saturday, April 25 as the Rotary Club of the Tarrytowns and the Family YMCA at Tarrytown again join forces. The Rotary’s Duck Derby and the Y’s Healthy Kids Day will be the combined attractions that have brought thousands to the park for the annual events since their initial collaboration in 2008.

“The Family YMCA at Tarrytown is once again very excited to be partnering with the Rotary for the 13th year to bring this fun filled day to the community,” said Lesa Dalton, the Y’s Associate Executive Director. “As you know the Y continues to promote Healthy Kids Day as a way to bring community organizations, local vendors and families together celebrating our children. We want to encourage families to spend more time playing and interacting with one another and less time using computers and television.”

Rotarian JoAnne Murray noted the successes of the cooperative enterprise and pointed out that preparations for the April Derby are already underway. “The rubber ducks are coming out of hibernation and getting cleaned up and counted for their special race day,” she said.

Murray and Mimi Godwin are Co-Chairs of the Rotary’s Derby and take an active role during the day with their presence in feathery duck costumes, including their availability for photos with children. They will also be making their 2020 costumed debut during the Sleepy Hollow-Tarrytown St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday March 15.

Activities at Patriot’s Park begin at 11 a.m., and the ducks gear up for the first Derby race heat soon afterwards. Six race heats and a grand final race take place in Andre Brook. Persons who have adopted the winning ducks of each heat receive $100, while for the grand final race, in which each heat winner participates, the victor’s adopter collects a $1,500 award. Duck Adoptions are open online at, and credit cards are accepted. Adopting one duck costs $10, while a six-quack is $50 and a tub of 13 ducks is $100. Adoptions are also available at the event.

Many Healthy Kids Day activities are planned. “There will be performances by Y Dance, a DJ and a live band, and we will offer some of the old favorites, face painting, rides, carnival games, arts and crafts, free popcorn, the fire safety trailer and giveaways,” explained Dalton.

The purchase of a $10 bracelet, “allows children to participate in all the games, rides and activities, including face painting and more,” Dalton stated, adding, “The Y has not raised the price for this event in over ten years, and bracelets can be purchased the day of the event, or families can avoid the lines by contacting Susan Barak to purchase them in advance.”

Among the food vendors scheduled to be present are “some of the past favorites like Jimmy’s Soft Serve, Melt Mobile, and Tarrytown Hope Hose & Conqueror BBQ,” Dalton said, adding that additional food services are being arranged. All will be available until the events conclude at 3 p.m.

As for the Derby, Murray offered thanks “for the many volunteers that help make this happen. The Girls Scouts help with patrolling the stream and have developed a special badge for the girls who participate. And we have many individuals in the community who volunteer to help under the tent and leading up to the event,” she noted. “All profits go back to the community in the form of grants and scholarships.”

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