RAPID CITY, S.D. (July 25, 2018) – If the annual Great Black Hills Duck Race were a timed event, the 2018 race could be one for the record books. With Rapid Creek running about four times its usual flow, those 16,000 rubber ducks will be dashing downstream on Sunday afternoon.
In fact, organizers of the Children’s Miracle Network fundraiser are cautioning spectators to be careful this year. Because of recent heavy rains, Rapid Creek has repeatedly climbed out of its banks and later receded. So even if the water is not high on Sunday, soil along the creek is saturated, soft and slippery.
“The Great Black Hills Duck Race is a wonderful spectator event, but we really want everyone to be safe,” said Shawn Powers of the Regional Health Foundation, organizer of the Great Black Hills Duck Race. “Please stay on the bike path. We have experienced duck wranglers who will keep the flock moving.”
At 2 p.m. Sunday, a front-end loader will drop 16,000 rubber ducks into Rapid Creek from the West Main Street bridge next to the westside McDonald’s. The numbered ducks float downstream to Memorial Park, where the first ducks to cross the finish line win prizes for their donor-sponsors.
According to the Rapid City Parks & Recreation Department, Rapid Creek is currently running about 200 cubic feet per second through town. In a normal year, the creek runs at about 50 cfs. High water has closed one section of the bike path, where it passes under Mount Rushmore Road near the Duck Race finish line.
Spectators can cross over the top of the Mount Rushmore bridge and continue down along the bike path to the finish line. Also, signs will be posted along Rapid Creek asking spectators to stay on the bike path.
Regional Health is an integrated health care system with the purpose of helping patients and communities live well. The organization, headquartered in Rapid City, provides community-based health care covering 32 specialty areas of medicine in more than 20 communities in two states. Regional Health is comprised of five hospitals, 25 clinics and more than 5,000 physicians and caregivers. Regional Health hospitals in Rapid City, Spearfish and Sturgis have been rated as four-star hospitals by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. For more information, visit regionalhealth.org.
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