Emerald Rotary Club member Denis Kiely is warming up the ducks and boats for the annual Duck Dash down the Nogoa River in Emerald, to raise funds for the all-abilities playground.
Emerald Rotary Club member Denis Kiely is warming up the ducks and boats for the annual Duck Dash down the Nogoa River in Emerald, to raise funds for the all-abilities playground.

All-abilities playground one step closer thanks to the Duck Dash

THE Nogoa River Family Day featuring the famous ‘Duck Dash’ will raise money for final work to be carried out at Rotary’s new all-abilities playground being built across the road from Emerald Hospital.

Rotary member and organiser Denis Kiely said the day, from 8am-4pm on November 3 at Emerald’s Botanic Gardens, would kick off the start of the Nogoa River celebrations which take place during November.

Rotary is planning to sell 2500 small yellow rubber ducks for $5 each or five for $20 – each one with a number on it – which supporters can buy and then cheer for as they take off down the river at 2pm.

The ducks are tipped into the river, float up to a rope for their starting positions and then race for about 150 metres, depending on how fast the river is flowing.

Prizes for the event include first prize: return flights for two to Brisbane with accommodation for two nights; second prize: a scenic flight of the Emerald area; third prize: a wheelbarrow full of goodies.

Another ‘duck dash’ will be held at noon with 100 larger corporate ducks available for $50 each.

“They will each be decorated by the person who bought it, and someone will get $250 for the best decorated duck,” Mr Kiely said.

During the day there will be junior boat races in various categories including under 12 boat races for $5 entry from 10am and a 12- 16-year-old boat race with a $10 entry from 11am.

The annual duck dash will be followed by junior boat races at the Nogoa River Family Day on November 3.
The annual duck dash will be followed by junior boat races at the Nogoa River Family Day on November 3.

Both races offer prize money of $50 for first place and $25 for second place.

The major boat race of the day at 1pm, The King of the Nogoa, will cost entrants $100 per boat, and there’s a $500 prize for the winner.

“You can use your own boat or boat from last year,” Mr Kiely said.

The Lions Markets will be set up and there will be a free waterslide and bouncy castle, Bells Family Pets, food options and a bar.

Entertainment will be provided by Central Queensland musician Anna Farquhar from 10am.

All funds raised will be used for the final stages of the all-abilities play park which is due to be completed next month.

“They’re currently doing the concreting and then they’ll lay the rubber matting and do the fencing.”

Mr Kiely said that over the past three years the Rotary Club in Emerald had raised $180,000 for the park.

“The biggest thing will be that little kids can coming for their appointments at the hospital, and then they can just go to the park and it’s going to be a lovely place for people to sit and relax.

“Also, people who are coming through town can just pull up there and they can all have fun.

“There’s nothing like it in Emerald. There’s nothing for kids with wheelchairs and disabilities and it will let all children be able to play and interact with each other.”


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