Rotary Club of Aspen’s Ducky Derby ’23 aims to make big splash |

Rotary Club of Aspen’s Ducky Derby ’23 aims to make big splash

Staff Report
Thousands of rubber duckies will return to the Roaring Fork after several years away due to the pandemic.
Courtesy photo

The Rotary Club of Aspen’s Ducky Derby will return this year with both traditional activities and new features, the club announced Thursday.

The most important component, organizers said, is that the ducks will be back in the river! The event is scheduled for Aug. 5 in Rio Grande Park.

After a three-year hiatus from the river due to the pandemic and pandemic-related issues, the 31st annual Rotary Club of Aspen Ducky Derby will be back with enhanced entertainment in Rio Grande Park for children and adults, club officials said.

An expanded park event will include children’s favorite games, youth-organization tents, music, and the silent auction. There will be expanded food options, a beer garden, vendor village, skateboard competition, and the return of the city of Aspen’s Back Country Marathon.

The Rotary Club of Aspen will have more than the Ducky Derby going on Aug. 5 at Rio Grande Park in Aspen.

“All this is leading up to the big Duck Drop and race of 20,000 ducks down the Roaring Fork River. It will be a great day in the park that should not be missed,” said Head Duck Andrew Pollesel.

Since 1992, proceeds from the Rotary Club of Aspen’s Duck Derby has provided $898,000 to benefit Aspen area youth groups, non-profits, Aspen and Basalt college scholarships, and Rotary projects around the world.

“We are so happy to have this great community event and cause back at Rio Grande Park. This event is more than a benefit for great causes, it is a fun day out for residents and visitors, and a truly a great community get together for everyone,” said Aspen Mayor Torre.

Since its inception in 1992, the Rotary Club’s Ducky Derby has enjoyed support from many dozens of community businesses, including Clark’s Market.

“As the owner of a long-time business in the valley, it’s important to me that I invest in the community that has invested so much in us,” said Tom Clark Jr., president and CEO of Clark’s Market. “Ducky Derby has such a powerful impact on our valley with its commitment to youth organizations, high-school scholarships, and deserving non-profits. Our customers thank us for supporting the Ducky Derby.”

Founded in 1971, the Rotary Club of Aspen is a member of Rotary International, whose mottoes “Service above Self” and “One Profits Most Who Serves Best” guide the club’s efforts to change lives at home and around the world, club members said.

Rotary’s largest initiative is ending polio around the world through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative. Since 1979, polio cases have been reduced by 99.9%.

In addition, two members of the Aspen Rotary Club have created a program, supported by the Gates Foundation, which aims to eradicate malaria worldwide.

For more information on the Ducky Derby and sponsorship opportunities, contact Todd Brewer
at (612) 207-4555 or For more information about Rotary, visit

The derby has many sponsorship opportunities available. If any organization would like to be part of this community tradition and support Rotary’s community benefits, contact Brewer.


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