Where It All Began

The Rhythms at the Riverwalk Duck Derby has become something that people from all over Denton County have come to look forward to every single year. It’s an event that is always worth attending and celebrating with all of the derby’s fun activities such as the kid zone, food trucks, vendors, and music – and we can’t forget the main event, the highly anticipated duck race! With the excitement of this year’s Rhythms at the Riverwalk Duck Derby, Cross Timbers Rotary Club’s acting president, Jim Moll, thought it would be a wonderful idea to bring to light the history of how this incredible event came to be in the community of Flower Mound.

It all started early in the year 2018. Two of the founding members, Chuck Elsey and Andy Eads, were attending a Rotary Training when they came across an event that the Rotary Club of Graham, Texas does every year – a duck race. The two loved the idea but believed that the Cross Timbers Rotary Club could make this event bigger and better than anyone had ever seen before.

Chuck and Andy made the decision to visit the Rotary Club of Graham, Texas in April of 2018. “They excitedly came back to the club and began to lay out the plan for the Cross Timbers Rotary Club to do their own duck race. But they wanted to do more than a duck race,” Jim said.

During this time, the Riverwalk in Flower Mound was currently being developed. The Club’s vision was to create a signature event for the Riverwalk Development and for the City of Flower Mound. The Club knew that they had to create an event that was family-friendly and the end result was the Rhythms at the Riverwalk Duck Derby.

The first annual duck derby was held in September of 2018. They had so many fun activities for the attendees to enjoy, however the Cross Timbers Rotary Club knew that they had to give back to the community with this event in a big way. The Club provided grants to local nonprofits as a major focus of the event. “For our first event and duck derby, we raced 15,000 ducks and raised nearly $70,000 for our club as well as our local nonprofits,” Jim explained. “For our 5th annual race this year, we are anticipating that we will raise $125,000 and will race 30,000 ducks down the Riverwalk.” The end result of last year’s derby? 24 local nonprofits received grants provided by the Cross Timbers Rotary Club.

When it comes to participating in the derby every year, all you have to do is purchase a duck and there are so many ways to do that. A single duck costs only $5. However, most people choose to go with a package to raise their chances of winning the grand prize. You can purchase a Bundle of Ducks which is 6 ducks for $25. You can purchase a Flock of Ducks which is 12 ducks for $50. You can choose the option of a Brood of ducks which is 24 ducks for $100, a Flight of Ducks which is 50 ducks for $200, or a Dynasty of Ducks which is 125 ducks for $500.

“Typically, the race begins at 12:30 with the Duck Drop,” Jim announced. Everyone in attendance gathers around the riverwalk to watch the anticipated drop, in hopes that their duck will be the first to cross the finish line. If it is the first, they win the highly anticipated first place prize which is a $2,500 VISA gift card! But if your duck wasn’t fast enough to be first, have no fear. The Cross Timbers Rotary Club has expanded your chances of winning a prize by offering the top 10 racers a separate prize. This includes a $1,500 VISA gift card for second place, $1,000 VISA gift card for third, and various gift cards for fourth through tenth place.

But overall, everyone is truly a winner with this event because with each duck purchased, you are getting the opportunity to give back to our local community’s nonprofits that need our support the most. There’s no better way to celebrate each third Saturday of September than with the Rhythm’s at the Riverwalk Duck Derby.

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