Sidmouth Duck Derby tickets now on sale

Last year's Duck Derby,

Last year's Duck Derby, - Credit: Archant

Duck Derby fans have been promised a quacking good time at one of the most popular events in the town’s calendar.

There will plenty to do and see at the big event which will be held by Sidmouth Lions Club on July 15 in The Byes between 2pm and 4pm.

The Duck Derby consists of two large duck races on the River Sid, between Sid Park Road and Salcombe Road bridges.

There will also be attractions for children including the duck and spoon races, other fun games, a big slide, a bouncy castle and tasty ice-cream.

Sidmouth Lions Club first acquired the little yellow ducks some 33 years ago.

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Their first Duck Derby took place on the River Sid in 1985 and raised £727 for charity.

Between races, the yellow ducks enjoy a good life, in idyllic surroundings in the Sid Valley. The flock now stands at more than 5,000 strong - although some of the original ducks have had to be pensioned-off.

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Also, despite their comfortable, lazy lifestyle, some more adventurous youngsters have taken the opportunity during the duck races, to escape down the River Sid into the sea and one subsequently sent a message to Sidmouth Lions saying he had bobbed along to Budleigh Salterton - where he was happy to remain for the rest of his ducky days.

The remaining yellow ducks are all busy training, being counted and checked to be fit for this year’s big race. Seventeen years ago the Lions also allowed some rather corporate red ducks to join the yellow duck flock which means they can have two duck races on Duck Derby day - the red duck race for local businesses and organisations which starts at 2.45pm, followed by the main yellow duck race for the public at 3pm. Tickets for the yellow ducks are £1 each and there is also £1,015 in cash prizes to be won.

This year’s yellow duck race charity beneficiaries will be the Sidmouth Admiral Nurse Appeal and Devon Freewheelers - the emergency medical supplies delivery charity.

Tickets are also on sale at Paper Moon, in Fore Street, and at No 83 for Cards in the High Street. Tickets may also be purchased from the Lions stall outside the Co-op store from 10am to 5pm on July 3-6 and on July 10-13. Sid Valley businesses are also being asked to sponsor one or more of the red Corporate ducks.

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