May 232005

Yesterday was the 10th Annual Lake Arlington Duck Race. This event is a benefit for the Arlington Heights PTA and the ABC/25 Foundation, and usually draws a nice crowd from the community. Lisa was this year’s media person (she did the brochure linked above).
Emma the Duck
(While I am not allowed to reveal the identity of the person inside the costume, I can say that her soccer team tied on Saturday.)
The contraption was once again pressed into service, probably for the final time due to its age and state. The plastic ducks are dropped from the box at the top, down a slide, and into the water. The Fire Department shoots water behind the ducks to push them towards the finish line at the other side of the lake.
This year, however, we were dealing with a prevailing 30 mph wind coming from the west, which meant the hoses were effective only to a certain point. Once the ducks were at mid-race, they all huddled against one section of the lane lines and stayed there. The park district kids ran their boats near the mob to help them along by creating waves, and while the group was broken up, many ducks took the opportunity to escape the lane lines and take the more interesting mile-long journey to the east end of the lake.
We made it through this near-catastrophe with some last-minute lane line adjustments (as in, we moved them several yards eastward), and the winning ducks finally crossed the finish line.
It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time. Becky and her friends were painting faces again and Emma and Lisa came with me on few shuttle runs (I learned that school district vans have pretty good pickup).
We were exhausted at the end of the day, but I know we all slept well.

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