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Frequently Asked Questions

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Nevada Humane Society Duck Race & Festival

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Duck Race?

The 2018 Nevada Humane Society Duck Race is a benefit for the homeless animals of our community, in particular those aided by Nevada Humane Society. Members of the community “adopt” rubber ducks—20,000 of them—which race down a stretch of the Truckee River on Race Day.

When and where will the Duck Race be held?

The Duck Race will be held on Sunday, August 19th at Wingfield Park, 1st St. and Arlington Ave., Reno. The Festival runs from 11am – 5pm, and the Duck Race takes place at 4pm in the Truckee River adjacent to Wingfield Park.

Is there an admission fee for the Duck Race & Festival?

No, the Duck Race & Festival is free and open to the public. Duck adoptions start at $5.

Can I bring my dog to the Festival?

Per City of Reno regulations, dogs are not allowed in Wingfield Park during special events (except service dogs). We have been granted special permission to have a small number of adoptable dogs who will be kept in a fenced area.

How does the duck adoption process work?

During the months before the Duck Race, the community is blanketed by NHS representatives to create awareness about the event and to “adopt” ducks for a fee. In order to adopt a duck (or multiple ducks), supporters fill out an “adoption paper.” Their Lucky Duck number is printed on both the portion they keep and the entry portion that is retained by NHS.Everyone who adopts a duck 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.

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, Nevada Humane Society will work hard to train, coach, and make sure each one is ready for Duck Race day. After the Duck Race, all of the ducks will fly off to their next race somewhere in the US.

How does the actual Duck Race work?

The tagged ducks are transported in containers to the Truckee River, where they’re emptied into a dump truck. At race time, the truck empties 20,000 ducks into the river. Volunteers line the banks so that no ducks are trapped along their way to the finish line. The ducks are funneled into a trap and the first to arrive will win exciting prizes for their adopters. The winning ducks will be matched with the adopters’ names, and winners will be announced shortly after the race.

How do my ducks get in the water?

Let’s Tag! A few days prior to the Duck Race and Festival, volunteers will place numbered tags on the bottom of every duck that will be in the Duck Race - which is 20,000! The tags are waterproof labels beginning with a 7 digit number and ending with a 7 digit number.

How much do ducks cost to adopt?

Lone Duck is $5

Quack pack (5 ducks) is $20

Quacker’s Dozen (13 ducks) is $50

Beak Brigade (25 ducks) is $100

Feathered Flotilla (50 ducks) is $225

What kind of prizes do the winning ducks receive?

The grand prize is a 2018 Toyota Corolla, courtesy of Dick Campagni's Carson City Toyota! There are also other prizes to win throughout the race!

Where can you adopt ducks?

At the Nevada Humane Society shelter, over the phone by calling 775-856-2000 ext 335 and online at In addition, there will be adoption tables at a variety of community events, farmers’ markets and major stores.

Will ducks be available for adoption on the day of the Duck Race & Festival?

It depends. If all 20,000 ducks have not been adopted prior to the August 19 event, the remaining ducks will be available for adoption at the Festival. If all have been adopted in advance, none will be available at the event.

What type of activities will be featured at the Festival?

All kinds of family fun will start at 11:00 am at Wingfield Park in Reno including live music, games, clowns, face painting, Nevada Humane Society pet adoptions and refreshments. The ducks will be launched into the Truckee River at approximately 4:00 p.m. and begin racing. The winning finishers will win great prizes for their duck adopters including a chance of winning a new car!

Is there parking close to Wingfield Park?

There is a parking garage on the corner of 1st and Sierra Streets (enter on the 1st Street side). Street parking around downtown Reno is free on Sundays.

Is the duck adoption fee tax-deductible?

Due to value received and the fact that prizes are awarded, entries are not considered tax deductible by the IRS.

When will prize winners be announced?

Prize winners for the fastest ducks will be announced shortly after the conclusion of the 4pm Duck Race, no later than 5pm.

What happens to the ducks after the race?

They are collected so that they can be used for future events.

Do adopters need to be present at the Duck Race & Festival to win?

No. If not at the event when winners are announced, adopters will be contacted by phone the day after the event. They will have until September 30, 2018 to claim their prize through Nevada Humane Society.

Do adopters need to bring adoption certificates to the Duck Race?

No, a master computer list contains the adopter name associated with each duck tag number.

Is there a minimum age for duck adoption prize winners?

Prize winners must be 18 years of age or over and must pay any applicable sales tax or other fees associated with any prize received.

Where can one get more information?

  • E-mail:
  • Visit:
  • Call: Nevada Humane Society, 775-856-2000, ext. 335