The 31st Annual Great Snake River Greenbelt Duck Race Comes to an End and Here Are the Winners

IDAHO FALLS — Twenty thousand rubber ducks raced down the Snake River on Saturday and each tried to make their way to a finish line to win a prize.

The ducks were all part of the 31st Annual Great Snake River Greenbelt Duck Race hosted by the Rotary Club of Idaho Falls. Rubber ducks are assigned numbers, allowing participants to adopt a duck for a small amount of money.

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The famous duck fall happened north of The Falls Overlook near the Best Western Driftwood Inn. The 20,000 ducks were placed in a giant yellow trash can, then picked up by a crane and thrown into the Snake River. The ducks then race down the river to win a prize.

A special surprise came out of the trash this year: an inflatable shark.

Mike O’Bleness, a member of the Rotary Club of Idaho Falls, told that he has been helping the duck race for 15 years.

“This year I was able to help with the booms in the water and I had a life jacket and was in the river. It was fun,” he said.

O’Bleness explained that they have installed a boom in the water where the ducks will run into it. He then lines the ducks up and then they are hollowed out as they cross the finish line.

The duck race is for a purpose and is a fundraiser for the community.

“It’s just a big community event that the Rotary Club puts on and the proceeds go to the Greenbelt and we’ve been working the last five or six years on Heritage Park,” he said.

According to the duck race website, the event has raised over $6 million through duck adoptions over the years, with matching funds from the City of Idaho Falls. After event expenses, all remaining funds are used to make improvements along the River Walk/Greenbelt. Over the past six years, the funds have gone towards the development of the city’s newest park along the River Walk – Heritage Park.

He said they usually raise between $60,000 and $70,000 from the duck race. This year, the Rotary club was able to reach its goal of selling ducks.

“Last year we sold 19,000 ducks, so this year we went to 20,000 ducks and there is already talk that maybe next year we will sell 25,000, which would be a record,” he said. he declared.

Once the ducks finish racing in Idaho Falls, he said they will move on to the next duck race.

“This flock of ducks is going to keep going and go to another duck race in Washington. These ducks travel all over the United States to run errands,” O’Bleness said.

RELATED | Time to start quacking: Prizes have been announced for the 31st Annual Duck Race

This year’s grand prize is a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Limited Sport Willys courtesy of Idaho Falls Cars & Trucks. First prize is a 2022 Polaris 4 Wheeler donated by Idaho Central Credit Union. Other prizes include a meal plan valued at $1,250, two-season golf passes valued up to $1,800 and more.

Here is the full list of event winners:

  • Grand Prize:
  • Doyle Crossley
  • First Prize: Deedee Martin
  • Runner-up: Jessica Dance, who won 14-karat diamond earrings from Alpine Jewelry, prized at $2,500
  • Third Prize: Kurt Krupp, who won two season golf passes
  • Other winners: Larry Stucki, Shawn Cleverly, Jeffrey Arlen, Shelly Woolstenhulme, John Wilson, Jordan Fielding, Brett Skaar and Dana Mitchell

Stucki won an original watercolor by Gloria Miller Allen. Both Cleverly and Arlen won meal packages. Woolstenhulme won four passes to each event at the Eastern Idaho State Fair and Wilson won $1,000 in fuel for KJs Super Store. Fielding won $1,000 at Sam’s Club, Skaar a $1,000 ski rental for four at Bill’s Bike Shop and Mitchell won a $1,000 cash prize from Carey Law.

Courtesy of Tyler Ogden
temple and ducks
Courtesy of Tyler Ogden
descend the falls
Courtesy of Tyler Ogden
finishing line
The finish line. | Courtesy of Tyler Ogden

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