Frequently Asked Questions

Learn about our cause and how the duck race works.
Make a contribution:
Adopt a Duck Now!
How do my ducks get in the water?

Duck Tagging: A few days prior to the Duck Race, volunteers will place numbered tags on the bottom of every virtual duck that will be in the Duck Race - which we hope is 10,000! The tags are waterproof labels with a 7 digit number. Duck tagging will occur on June 16th.
Duck Winner: On race day at 11:30 am, there will be a Duck Pluck at Sister Mary Lawrence Center. Volunteers will be selected to scoop up a bucket of ducks, and those are the ducks that will race in the course. The ducks will be launched soon after the Duck Pluck with the first place winner winning the $5,000 gift card. Other winners will be selected at random and announced on site, and posted on the website afterwards.

What is my tag number?

We can’t give you your tag number because we won’t know it until we run the Mix Report right before the race. Numbers are never given out to ensure that the race is not fixed. However, rest assured that all of the ducks you have adopted will have a chance to be picked from the Duck Pluck, and therefore a chance to race.

How does it work?

Everyone who adopts a duck, whether online, in the mail, at the Downtown Cedar Rapids Farmers' Market or in a sponsoring business is entered into what we call E-Quack, a database that stores all of the information. Next to your name in E-Quack is the number of ducks you have adopted. The tag range is entered into E-Quack and all the numbers are shuffled up. Then, E-Quack automatically assigns the number of ducks you have adopted next to Tag Numbers. Thus, if you adopted 5 ducks, your name will be placed next to 5 different Tag Numbers.

What if you have 9,000 Adopted Ducks but you have 10,000 Tagged Ducks?

If all our ducks have not been adopted by the day of the race, it means that a lucky adopter can still adopt up to an hour prior to the Duck Race. Their names will be placed at random into the mix, next to a number that does not already have a name by it. Anyone can adopt until an hour before the race begins, as long as the Duck Race is not sold out.

What time is the Great Eastern Iowa Duck Race?

The duck pluck takes place at 11:30 AM on June 19 with the race starting shortly after. The ducks will swim to the finish line to win great prizes for their duck adopters.

How will I know if my duck wins?

Cedar Rapids Daybreak Rotary will contact you using the information you provided with your duck adoption. You do not need to be present to win.

Are they real ducks or rubber ducks?

Rubber ducks, silly!

Once I adopt a duck, do I get to keep it?

No. After you adopt your duck, Cedar Rapids Daybreak Rotary will work hard to train, coach, and make sure each one is ready for the Duck Race. After the race, all of the ducks will fly off to their next race somewhere in the US.

Do I need to be present to win?

No, the winner does not need to be present to win. We do hope you will join us for the festivities though!

Is there an admission fee for the Great Eastern Iowa Duck Race?

No, the Duck Race is open to the public.

Can I adopt ducks on Race Day?

If all of our 10,000 ducks have not been adopted as of Friday night June 18th, the remaining ducks will be available for adoption Saturday until one hour prior to the start of the race at a booth set up at the Duck Race. Cedar Rapids Daybreak Rotary will be at the Downtown Cedar Rapids Farmers' Market on the morning of Saturday, June 19th.

Who does the event benefit?

All proceeds from the Great Eastern Iowa Duck Race benefit children. This year's beneficiaries include Youthport (a collaboration between Boys and Girls Clubs of Cedar Rapids, Tanager Place and Young Parent's Network), Jon Cushing Sunshine Grant Fund, Legacy for Learning college scholarship fund and the Daybreak Rotary El Salvador Fund. Daybreak Rotary's mission is to make a lasting positive impact on the citizens of Cedar Rapids who need it the most - children and families.