Every year, participants in BYU’s Ducky Derby crowd around the south campus stream as they cheer their rubber duckies to victory.
The Ducky Derby is sponsored by the Student Leadership Events Management Team and has taken place every spring since 2010. This year’s event will be on June 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entries cost $2. Participants are welcome to decorate their ducks prior to racing them in the stream south of campus.
Jennifer Spille, a member of the Events Management Team, said her favorite part of the Ducky Derby is watching all of the kids get excited.
“All the kids are just rooting on their little ducks,” Spille said. “They’re loud and all their rooting isn’t going to do a thing to make their duck go faster, but they’re really, really hoping it will.”
There are 13 different heats that culminate in the championship heat. According to Josh Baum, an organizer of the event, winners of the regular heats will be awarded prizes such as Jamba Juice gift cards, gift certificates to the BYU Bookstore and Ducky Derby T-shirts and hats. Winners of the championship heat will receive duck-ornamented trophies.
The Ducky Derby isn’t limited to BYU students. The Student Leadership Events Management Team goes out of its way to include everyone in the community, and the Ducky Derby is intended to be fun for people of all ages. Everyone from students, BYU alumni and families are encouraged to join the race.
Ron Jones, assistant director of Student Leadership, said even though plenty of people attend the event every year, he wishes more would come.
“It’s really hard in the spring to get people’s attention, and that’s sad because we want as many people as possible to take advantage of the things we put together and keep to a reasonable price.”
Jones said the Ducky Derby is an effective way of getting people involved with BYU.
“It’s a campus activity that’s safe and that isn’t going to embarrass people in front of their friends,” Jones said. “People can come and enjoy it and feel like they’ve participated in something on campus.”
The Ducky Derby promotes a happy atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.
“It’s just a great atmosphere when people come to register,” Spille said. “We have music playing, we have ice cream, and the weather’s going to be really nice. Nobody is ever disappointed at the event.”