DU QUOIN — Thousands of spectators watched 9,900-plus rubber ducks race to the finish line Sunday during Special Olympics' fourth annual Ducky Derby Dash behind the Exhibition Hall at the Du Quoin State Fairgrounds, according to a news release from the organization.
The day kicked off with a parade around the fairgrounds, followed by entertainment such as live music, face painting, games, and an appearance by Splash the Duck.
The grand prize winner for this year's derby, which was a $2,000 cash prize courtesy of Country Financial, was Lee Caraker, of Du Quoin.
Kathy Halleran, of Hurst, took second, and won a three-night all-inclusive trip to Riviera Maya, Mexico; Sandra Bartlett, of Pinckneyville, won third, and received a pub table top with four chairs, a Coca-Cola umbrella for the table, handcrafted side-by-side wooden chairs and a corn hole set; and Carl Turpin, of Hurst, finished fourth, and won two tickets to a NASCAR race courtesy of Chicagoland Speedway.
The release said the annual Ducky Derby Dash was a collaborative effort by the sales teams — both corporate teams and independent groups — who devote the summer to selling duck adoptions and spreading the word about the benefits of Special Olympics.