Ducktona on deck this weekend

by Jeff Pederson

The most biggest and most anticipated one-day event of the year in the city of Sheboygan Falls is almost here.

The 23rd annual Sheboygan Falls Chamber-Main Street Ducktona 500 Family Festival and Classic Car Show is set to take place Sunday, July 3, at River Park in downtown Sheboygan Falls, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Featured activities include games, contests, cars, family activities, Big Wheel races, music, food, fun and the spectacle of the rubber duck race on the Sheboygan River.

Despite extremely hot weather conditions, last year’s Fourth of July event drew an estimated crowd of 5,000 people to picturesque River Park.

As the highlight of the day's activities, the duck race takes center stage at 3 p.m. Last year’s duck race drew 2,800 entries to battle for the $1,000 first-place prize.

Those purchasing tickets for the top-four finishing ducks are awarded cash prizes. The second- place finisher is rewarded with $500, third place earns $250 and fourth place takes home $100.

Those wishing to enter ducks into this year’s race, sponsored by Blattner’s Piggly Wiggly, can purchase one ticket (duck) for $5 or five tickets (ducks) for $20.

Duck-race tickets are currently available in advance at the Sheboygan Falls Chamber-Main Street office at 504 Broadway St., B&B Ford, Blattner’s Piggly Wiggly, Rick’s House of Flowers, Depke Shoe Store, Franklin House, Q Mart, Kettle Lakes Co-op, Rick’s House of Flowers and Brian Passehl American Family Insurance.

Duck-race tickets will also be available on the day of race in the park at the Chamber-Main Street tent near the food court and in the car show area at the large shelter.

Music fans will be in for a treat, as the popular local band Bowser will make its Ducktona debut, from 1- 5 p.m.

“They’ve been voted one of the best bands in Sheboygan County, so we are hoping a lot of people will come out to see them,” Chamber-Main Street Program Coordinator Shirl Breunig said.

The event also features a gigantic classic car show, sponsored by Jon Kennedy’s B&B Ford.

The car show includes pre-1949 to present-day cars, trucks, vans motorcycles, race cars and off-road vehicles.

Car-show registration runs from 8 a.m. to noon in the small shelter next to the lagoon. The car show will follow, from noon to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

There is a $5 pre-registration fee for all entries received by June 30. Vehicles can be pre-entered by contacting the Sheboygan Falls Chamber-Main Street office at 467-6206.

All pre-registrations will include a food coupon. Registration on the day of the show is $6 per vehicle. Dash plaques will be awarded to the first 400 vehicles.

In addition, D.J. Dr. Rock will entertain the crowd in the car show area from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

The popular kids’ Big Wheel races return for children between the ages of 3 and 7. Registration begins at 11:15 a.m., with racing at noon in the tennis-court area.

There is a $1 entry fee. Big Wheels will be provided for all competitors.

The St. Paul Lutheran Church Men’s Group will host a pancake breakfast, from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., at the park’s large shelter.

Other activities include:

• Bruce Hetzler’s Comedy Magic Show (1:30-2 p.m. show, 2-3 p.m. strolling magic).

• The Balloon Lady (11 a.m.-1 p.m.).

• Arts and crafts (all day).

• Playland games and activities (all day): pony rides, petting zoo, mini golf, jump ’n bounce, face painting.

• Free bike corral (all day).

• Food court (all day, sponsored by Alliant Energy and Dura-Trel): brats, hamburgers, cold beverages, ice cream, corn on the cob, chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, popcorn, gyros, mini donuts

• Beer garden (all day).

• Vendor fair (all day).

• Dunk tank (noon to 3 p.m.).

• Food in large park shelter.

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