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Cultural Events

Lions Club Ducks Moving Full Speed Ahead Toward September 4



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Newtown Lions Club and its team of 5,000 rubber ducks are moving forward with plans for Saturday, September 4, when this year’s Great Pootatuck Duck Race will take place.

The big dump of rubber ducks into the Pootatuck River at 2:30 pm on Labor Day Saturday will be the culmination of a long-awaited community party in Sandy Hook Center that will run from 11 am to 3 pm. The first 20 ducks to reach the finish line will win prizes for their owners — the people who “adopted” the winning ducks for $5 each. Prizes include a $2,000 first prize as well as 19 other cash and package prizes. Proceeds from the sales and event will support mostly local charities.

The 2021 event will continue what had been, until COVID-19, an annual May celebration.

First postponed last year to Labor Day weekend, the eventual cancellation of 2020’s duck race meant an end to a 19-year running streak.

The Lions are hoping for much better luck this year. With the move to Labor Day Saturday, organizers hope the Great Pootatuck Duck Race will once again bring the town out to celebrate being together again after a long pandemic ordeal while also kicking off Labor Day weekend.

Vendors and organizations interested in a display table should contact Exhibitor Chair Gordon Williams at 203-405-6392 or gmwllw@charter.net.

Duck Race Chair Bob Schmidt says the Lions are deeply grateful to local businesses for helping. The following locations are either selling tickets or hosting Lions volunteers who sell tickets on the premises: Bagel Delight, Butcher’s Best Meat Market, Carminuccio’s, C.H. Booth Library, Cork n Barrel Liquor Store, Dodgingtown Craft & Spirits, Franco’s Pizza, Fun Kuts, Hawleyville Liquor Store, JoAnn’s Fitness Studio, My Place Restaurant, Newtown Café, Newtown Community Center, Newtown Hardware, and Nick’s Chilled & Distilled Liquor.

Also, Pizza Palace, PJs Laundromat, Queen Street Cleaners, Sandy Hook Diner, Toy Tree, WHIP Salon, and Yankee Wine and Spirits.

Great Pootatuck Duck Race tickets are also available through the Lions website, newtownlions.org (click Duck Race), via weekly locations posted on the Newtown CT Lions Club Facebook page, and through Lions Club members.

Lions are planning to have their ticket sales table at Hawleyville Wine & Liquor (23 Barnabas Road) and Yankee Wine & Spirits (6 Queen Street) from 5 to 7 pm tonight, and then at Butcher's Best Market, 125 Main Street South, tomorrow from 10 am until 2 pm.

Prize donors include Barnwood Grill, Berkshire Motors, Big Y, Blue Colony, Burgerittoville, Carminuccio’s, Cover Two Grill, Edmond Town Hall, Farmhouse Restaurant, Fun Kuts, Little Theater, Lucas Local, Marketplace, My Place, Nassar’s Hair Salon, Nouveau Monde Wine Bar, NYA, Pizza Palace, Porco Karate, Sal e Pepe, Sandy Hook Diner, Superior Cleaners, Tambascio’s, The Newtown Bee, The Villa, and Toy Tree.

When asked what will happen if a COVID resurgence prevents the big party, Bob Schmidt is very clear: “The race will go on!

“We are not only planning a fun event, but will also broadcast the race itself on our Newtown CT Lions Facebook page,” Schmidt said. “We hope everyone will be there, but if they can’t attend in person, they can watch virtually. Winners need not be present to win.”

Newtown Lions Club member Jon Christensen was all smiles when he was spotted selling tickets outside Newtown Hardware late Saturday morning. Christensen reported he had sold approximately 120 raffle tickets since the previous evening, when he did a stint outside Franco’s Pizza in Sand Hill Plaza. Sales ahead of the September 4 Great Pootatuck Duck Race have been “fairly steady all season,” he said. —Bee Photo, Hicks
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