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Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: When is the Duck Derby held?
A: The annual Reedy River Duck Derby, brought to you by the Reedy River Rotary Club of Greenville, is held every year on the first Saturday of May.

Q: What time does the race start?
A: Post time is 2:30 PM (listen for the trumpet call from the Liberty Bridge!)

Q: What time will names for the winners be announced?
A: The cut-off for adoptions will be at 1:45 PM or at 14,000 ducks adopted (whichever comes first) and winners will be drawn promptly and posted on our website later that Saturday.

Q: What is the extra fee when I try to adopt online?
A: There is a 5.5% processing fee for online orders. The processing fee comes from, a secure payment gateway that encrypts and securely authorizes each credit card transaction. If you wish to avoid a fee, we are happy to take cash or check through our physical adoption forms. Sign up for our newsletter to receive up to date information about it here.

Q: I didn't get a receipt after adopting a duck online.
A: Please check your spam folder for an email from Great American Merchandise & Events. If you cannot locate it or did not receive it, please use the Contact Us page to request a receipt. We'll be glad to make sure you receive one.

Q: I adopted online or mailed in a form. How do I know my numbers of my ducks? And how will I know if I win?
A: When you adopt, your name goes into the database once for each duck you adopt. The numbers that are tagged on the ducks will be randomly assigned to each name in the database at the moment of the race. This is to ensure the integrity of the event. When the race is over the numbers are cross referenced in the database. We will announce the winners by name, however you do not need to be present to win. You will be contacted by email and/or phone to let you know that you won and what prize you won. The Rotary club does not have access to the computer system, algorithm that assigns the numbers to names.

Q: How do I know if my adoption is getting credited to the correct Team?
A: You can credit an adoption in 2 ways:

1. Click on adopt a duck from the main page, enter the number from the adoption paper you received from the team you want to credit, enter the number and hit verify. Continue the payment process to adopt a duck.

2. Go to the Teams page and click on the team you want to give credit to, click on the "Adopt a Duck" button on that teams page and follow the prompts. You do not have to enter a number. When you checkout, you will see a box at the top of the page with the name of the Team that you are adopting a duck from.

Q: I adopted online, but have not received my ducks.
A: You will not receive a physical duck. Your name is entered into our database as many times as the number of ducks you adopted. Then numbers that are on the bottom of the ducks at the start of the race are randomly assigned to the names in the database. The ducks are all put into the water by members and volunteers of the Rotary Club of the Reedy River.

Q: Do you use live ducks?
A: No, we do not use live ducks. The ducks in the derby are thoroughbred racing ducks of the bathtub "rubber ducky" variety. They are seasoned travelers and racers, traveling the racing circuit, raising money for charities all over the country, in river after river everywhere they go.

Q: Can I keep a duck from the race as a souvenir?
A: Please do not remove any ducks from the race. We rent these ducks, and we are responsible for the cost of any ducks that are not returned. This added expense means there will be less to share with the local charities we support. Aside from that, these ducks have been in all kinds of rivers, and you really don't want one of these floating in your bathtub with you.

If you would like a souvenir, you will find several booths scattered around the park, where all kinds of souvenirs are available for sale. The proceeds from these sales help to support local charities.

Q: I am concerned about pollution in the river. How do you make sure no ducks are left behind or go further downstream?
A: We work closely with HEPACO (an environmental cleanup services company) and make every effort to ensure that no ducks are allowed to stay behind or float on down the Reedy River. The finish line is a "boom" that blocks the escape of any wild ducks seeking freedom. There is another boom laid across the river beyond the finish line that serves as a backup, just to make sure fleeing ducks are captured. Volunteers keep a close watch at both of these points in the river to further make sure no ducks escape.

Also, for environmental reasons, we clean all the ducks after the race, box them up in totes, and return them so they can be transported to their next derby where they will once again race for charities.