La Riviere TurkeyFest and Duck Race celebrated

Melodie Morrow, Treasurer presents 6 year old Grace Robidoux, with her $875 1st prize for the winning duck while familymembers watch. Her weekend of camping certainly paid off! She intends Óto buy 100 chocolate bars and maybe a present for my brothersÓ. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

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The 11th Annual La Riviere TurkeyFest and Duck Race took place at Pembina La Riviere Campground June 22 with a day full of activities and fun for everyone. Hosted by La Riviere & Community Recreation Association, the duck race has become a La Riviere summer tradition, with an estimated 200 people lining the banks of the Pembina River this year for the race and enjoying the festivities.
The money raised from this year’s race will go towards the installation of a multi-use concrete pad at the rear of the arena. It is presently in the early stages of construction, and when completed will accommodate volleyball and a pickle ball court, basketball, floor shuffleboard and street hockey.
“This new play area will give our kids and our families a place to play together in a safe space, it will keep our bodies active and will help to develop sportsmanship and citizenship,” they said in a press release. “It is designed to be used by all ages, and not only for community, but for those who visit our community. “
So every duck was counted. Every duck raced. Every duck paddled against all odds and strong winds in hopes of winning the #1 spot. La Riviere’s 11th Annual TurkeyFest and Duck Race had all 700 ducks struggling to the finish line. Could you hear them quacking their annoyance of the blustery winds that hindered their swim, while clusters of spectators lined the banks and cheered them on?
“It was a very windy day in our beautiful valley town to have our 11th Annual TurkeyFest & Duck Race but it was great to see the happiness on everyone’s faces while they joined in the fun,” said Evelyn Janzen, organizer, Sunday in between trips to return supplies to storage or other use at Blair Morrison Hall. “We are so fortunate to live in such a caring, giving community that realizes how important it is to keep the annual tradition of this extraordinary event going into the future. ”
2019 statistics:
• Number of duck adoptions: 700 of 700
• Amount distributed winners: $1793.75
• Time from start to finish line for Duck #1: it seemed like forever, the wind just wouldn’t let up for even a minute
• Prizes donated by merchants: 30
• Top prize winners: #1: Duck # 567, by 6 year old Grace Robidoux of Notre Dame de Lourdes picked up a cool $875
#2: Duck #360 by brother and sister Aaron and Emma Lindsay, Durham, ON earned $525 and
#3: Duck #072 by Roxy Barrett, Manitou collected $350
• All events were free to the public.
• 42 volunteers kept everyone safe and happy on Saturday. This included set up crew, food servers, station managers, bar tenders, ticket sellers and garbage and clean up crew. In addition, 14 La Riviere Volunteer Fire Department had their crew out for a fabulous Fireman’s Frenzy where many got soaked playing with water.
Now, the little crazy colored ducks of hot pink, orange and green are drying out in their secret location, resting up for their next adventure, the 2020 12th Annual TurkeyFest and Duck Race.
La Riviere & Community Recreation Association is proud to sponsor and host the Festival and Duck Race as one of its premier community service projects. Chairman Ev Janzen hopes this year’s event continues to spread the ideals of community involvement through a day of fun and entertainment. “It’s just a day for families and folks to come down to the river and have a great time. “It’s fun, and people enjoy coming down.”

Volunteers with the kids using the fire hose, equipment in the background. FiremanÕs Frenzy is always a hit with the kids, young and old alike. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

Kids doing activity books, while others painted rocks. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

Face painting was popular as always, and Edith was kept very busy. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

Concentration will create a wonderful masterpiece for this little lady. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

Lining up for the bike race. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

These young fellas getting a jump start on the sack races. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

5-7 year olds concentrating on not breaking the egg… (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

The bicycle blender proved quite a challenge! Here Brian peddles hard to get his drink! (SUPPLIED PHOTO)

A couple takes a quite moment to enjoy the beauty of the river. (SUPPLIED PHOTO)