Police, derby hope to ‘quack’ case | AspenTimes.com

Police, derby hope to ‘quack’ case

Joel StoningtonAspen, CO Colorado
Rubber ducks mingle with pedestrians on the Cooper Avenue mall to promote a recent Ducky Derby. The ducks' larger cousin, a large inflatable mascot for the Ducky Derby, became the most recent victim of mascot theft in Aspen. (Aspen TImes file)
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ASPEN A large inflatable duck was stolen off a Main Street lawn sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning, Aspen police said. The duck – mascot of the Aspen Ducky Derby – has joined the sad and lonely fraternity of stolen mascots, from the Hickory House bear to “Fat Boy,” the Aspen Cooking School mascot who took a long vacation last summer. Roughly the size of two cars stacked, the duck was on loan to John Olson Builders, a main sponsor of the Rotary Club’s 16th annual Lucky Ducky Derby.

The sizable waterfowl – yellow, with sunglasses – was advertising the derby and the ducks on sale at Olson. The sitting duck was staked to the lawn in front of Olson Builders and included a pump to keep it inflated. Both the pump and web-footed inflatable are missing.Aspen patrolman Leon Murray said a witness saw a diesel truck and heard several male voices at some point during the night. He would not comment further about what the witness might have seen, or if police are nearing an arrest.

“I would hope it’s a silly prank gone awry,” said Murray, who mentioned that the owners and police might consider it water off a duck’s back if the oversized waterfowl returns.Rotary raises money through the annual ducky derby for youth groups, scholarships and human services in the valley, and for international projects as well.In the last 15 years, the Aspen Ducky Derby Festival has raised more than $1.7 million, with a singly annual record of $163,000 in 2004.

Last year, Judy Kohl of Basalt won $15,000 on a duck, and this year the main prize is either $25,000 or a paid two-year lease on a Ford Escape Hybrid. There is also always the distant possibility of a $1 million prize. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com


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