Harbor Duck Race coming back: Scheduled June 9

The once popular Milford Harbor Duck Race, which saw its last run in 2015, is scheduled to return June 9, though one organizer said the date is still up in the air.

The United Way and the Woodruff Family YMCA negotiated last year with St. Gabriel School to buy the 10,000 rubber ducks and related duck-racing paraphernalia to re-start the race as a fundraiser for their organizations.

The Milford Harbor Duck Race started in 2008, organized by a group called Catholic Elementary Schools (CES) to raise money for the three Catholic schools then located in Milford: St. Gabriel School, St. Ann School and St. Mary School.

St. Ann School closed in 2010, and then St. Gabriel School closed in 2016, at which point the organizers canceled the race.

Last year, United Way President/CEO Gary Johnson said the race was a successful fundraiser, netting $50,000 its final year. It attracted hundreds of people to Milford Harbor to watch the  plastic ducks “race” over the waterfall for the eight-year run.

People bought a duck or ducks for $5 a piece, and if their duck crossed the finish line in good time, the “owner” would win one of a long list of raffle prizes.

News about the race revival was announced at last week’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, when duck race volunteers marched, carrying signs about the June 9 event.

The groups’ website also touted the news: “The Milford Harbor Duck Race is Returning on June 9,” states the milfordduckrace.com website. “Stay tuned for more news in early April.”

But Johnson said a final approval is still needed on that date.

"Regarding the duck race, we are waiting for confirmation from the police department that we can still go with June 9 because of other activities that are happening in the Fowler area that day," Johnson said.

The duck race website states that the organizers are trying to come up with a name for their duck mascot and are scanning local suggestions.

Until March 23 at midnight, organizers will be scanning Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for posts that include the hashtag #NameTheDuck.

“To submit a name simply post your suggested name along with the hashtag and we'll throw your name into the hat,” the website states.