Frequently Asked Questions

Learn about our cause and how the duck race works.
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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 duck that will be in the Duck Race - which we hope is 15,000! The tags are waterproof labels with a 7 digit number. Duck Pluck: On race day at 11:30 am, all ducks will be displayed in Greene Square. 25 children will be selected to scoop up a bucket of ducks. Those lucky ducks will race in the course located at 420 6th St. SE CR. That race will take place shortly after the Duck Pluck.

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 race.

How does it work?

Everyone who adopts a duck, whether online, in the mail, at a Duck Derby booth 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 14,000 Adopted Ducks but you have 15,000 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 fun starts at Greene Square at 11:30. After the Duck Pluck, we'll move to the race course at 420 6th St SE, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 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 15,000 ducks have not been adopted as of Friday night June 14th, 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.

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 ESNA Villiage International Project. 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.