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Frequently Asked Questions

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What does the Coastal Duck Derby benefit?

All proceeds from the Coastal Duck Derby benefit the Crisis Intervention Services of Coastal Horizons. These include The Open House Youth Shelter, The Open House Youth Shelter Transitional Living Program, and The Rape Crisis Center (RCC). Coastal Horizons Center, Inc. is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Contributions to Coastal Horizons Center, Inc. are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Coastal Horizons Center, Inc.'s tax identification number is 56-0950370.

How does it work?

Everyone who adopts a duck, whether online, by 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 is my tag number?

Tag numbers are automatically and randomly assigned by the computer program. We want to make sure that no duck has an unfair advantage and the race is not fixed, so to ensure the integrity of the race, tag numbers are never given out. Rest assured, however, that all of the ducks you have adopted will be in the water.

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

For Example:

How do my ducks get in the water?

Amazing Duck Deployment volunteers make sure all ducks get in the water and race toward the finishing line uninterrupted.

What if you have 19,000 Adopted Ducks but you have 20,000 Tagged Ducks?

If all our ducks have not been adopted by Duck Derby Day, it means that a lucky adopter can still adopt up to an hour prior to the Derby. 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 Derby is not sold out.

What time is the Coastal Duck Derby?

The Coastal Duck Derby will start on Friday, May 31, 2024 at 5:30 p.m. at Jungle Rapids Water Park (5320 Oleander Drive- please park in the field next to the park if the parking lot is full). There will be music, food, libations, and activities for kids. This is a casual event that will be fun for adults and kids of all ages. The water slides will be closed in preparation of the race; however, the kids splash pad will be open. The ducks will be launched down the blue water slide and begin racing around the lazy river at approximately 7:00 p.m. The first ducks over the finish line win the race and some amazing prizes. We reserve the right to race earlier than 7 p.m. if there is inclement weather in the forecast. We do this to ensure the safety of our guests and volunteers.

What happens if it rains?

Our ducks do not mind racing in the rain but they do not like thunder storms! In the event of rain, the race will go on but in the event of a thunder storm, we will follow Jungle Rapids' policy in closing the park when lightning is detected. In the event of a complete “storm out”, the race will be conducted virtually.

How will I know if my duck wins?

Coastal Horizons Center will contact you using the information you provided with your duck adoption. You do not need to be present to win. Winners will be posted on the website and on our Facebook page.

Who can adopt a duck?

Anyone! However, you must be at least 18 years old to adopt a duck. You do not have to be present at the race to win, nor do you have to be a resident of North Carolina.

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

No. After you adopt your duck, Open House Youth Shelter will work hard to train, coach, and make sure each one is ready for Derby Day. After the Derby, all of the ducks will fly off to their next race somewhere in the US.

Is there an admission fee for the Coastal Duck Derby?

No, the Derby is open to the public and is held at Jungle Rapids Water Park at 5320 Oleander Drive in Wilmington, North Carolina. Please let us know you are coming when you adopt a duck so we make sure we have enough cheese and quackers for everyone!

Can I adopt ducks on Derby Day?

Yes, provided we have not adopted out all of our 20,000 ducks.

Is my duck adoption tax deductible?

Please consult with your tax advisor.

How do I contact someone at the Coastal Duck Derby if I have questions or issues that are not answered here?

We are always happy to talk about ducks! Please call Elizabeth Redenbaugh, Development Director, at 910-524-5592 or email