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Quack, quack, it’s back.

Up to 800 plastic ducks will wend their way down the Manuherikia River on Saturday as the annual Alexandra District Parents Centre Great Duck Race takes place.

The centre’s committee president, Hannah Dwyer, said the event had become the primary fundraiser for the volunteer parent and family support network since its inception in 2018.

The number of ducks had increased from 500 to 800 and they were dropped into the Manuherikia from the old rail bridge in a race to the finish line and a flounder net set to catch them before they met the confluence with the Clutha River.

Mrs Dwyer said the net had been in place at every race since 2018, when a rogue duck made an epic journey 30km downstream and was found by a Contact Energy team clearing driftwood at the Roxburgh Dam.

The fundraiser generally pulled in between $3000 and $4000 for the organisation, she said.

“Our aim is to sell 800 ducks.

“We didn’t quite manage that last year, with Covid-19 throwing a bit of a curve ball at lots of families.”

Some ducks were still available and could be bought from Unichem and Mico.

“We’re so excited to be going ahead at a time when a lot of events are being cancelled.

“We just love providing a fun, affordable family day out for the community and it’s one of the ways we support families.

“It’s nice to be able to go ahead.”

That did mean not ignoring the realities of Covid-19 restrictions.

The event would be pared back in line with Level 2 guidelines.

The family fun day in Centennial Park will go ahead but because the public event falls into the category of a social gathering there will be a limit of 100 people attending.

To allow more families to enjoy the fun, the fun day will be split into two:

  • Session 1, from noon-1.35pm, will include the cash prizes for the duck race.
  • Session 2, 1.45pm-3pm will include the duck race spot prizes and the colouring competition prizes.

There will be no bookings.

The first 100 people will be admitted to each session.