Rubber Duck Derby returns to Homecoming

Superior Toyota Hyundai General Manager Tommy Hathaway, Parkersburg Homecoming President Woody Miller and Superior Hyundai Sales Manager Andy McDowell pose with the 2019 Hyundai Accent from Superior Toyota Hyundai that will be given away to the winner of the 2019 Rubber Ducky Derby at the Parkersburg Homecoming Festival. The winner will also receive the large inflatable duck that has been used in promoting the car and the event. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

PARKERSBURG — The ducks will again take to the water for the 2019 Parkersburg Homecoming Festival’s annual Rubber Duck Derby.

Last year was the first time in a long time thousands of rubber ducks were dropped into the Ohio River from the Belpre Bridge. The ducks drift toward the finish line 500 feet downstream where the ticket holder of the first duck to cross the line received the grand prize of a new car and the runners-up received monetary prizes.

The Rubber Duck Derby, which will be held 6:30 p.m. Sunday Aug. 18, continues to be a prime fundraiser for the festival, said Parkersburg Homecoming Festival President Woody Miller.

“Where else can you have a chance to get a new car,” Miller said. “It all supports the Homecoming Festival and helps us put on a fun event for the whole community.”

The Parkersburg Homecoming Festival will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The festival remains a free event. Many of the activities and shows put on during the festival weekend are paid through donations and fundraising efforts put on by the Homecoming Committee, local government contributions and others.

This year’s Grand Prize will be a 2019 Hyundai Accent from Superior Toyota Hyundai.

“It is a brand new car,” Miller said. “You can’t beat it.”

The runner-up will get $1,500 and other winners will get other monetary prizes down to $100.

“The first 10 ducks will win,” Miller said.

All of the rubber duckies are numbered and tickets have been sold a month in advance of the festival as well as throughout the festival weekend. All of the tickets sold correspond to a rubber ducky with someone checking to make sure the duckies being dropped matched a ticket that was sold.

People can buy tickets at Superior, Buttermore’s Jewelers, Mulberry Lane, the local Piggly Wiggly locations, local 7-11 locations, Napoli’s, and McHappy’s. Tickets will also be sold throughout the festival.

“We are going to sell, sell, sell,” Miller said.

Tickets are $5 each or 5-for-$20.

Derby ticket sales will close at 4 p.m. the Sunday of the festival.

CAS Cable and the WVU Medicine Camden Clark Medical Center are also sponsors for the event.

If a military veteran or active serviceman wins the car and provides the proper documentation of their service, they will get a $500 check from Hyundai just for their service, said Andy McDowell, Hyundai Sales Manager.

The car has power windows and door locks, tilt steering wheel and cruise control, backup camera, traction control, keyless entry, front-wheel drive, air conditioning and more.

”It is a really nice car with a lot of room inside,” McDowell said.

Jamie Riblett of Parkersburg won last year with a ticket she bought a few hours before the drop occurred.

McDowell said she has been really happy with the car since.

”She was thrilled to win,” he said. ”She bought a ticket and won a brand new car.

”She is really enjoying the car.”

With Superior supporting the Homecoming Festival, they are giving back to the community.

”If you buy a car from another dealer outside of the city, they are never going to support what we support,” McDowell said of the local organizations and events to which Superior regularly contributes.

”The dealers outside this area will never support the local community like we do,” he added. ”If you win this car, you will get the same level of service from all our departments that any customer would get.

”You are part of the Superior family when you win this car.”

The winner will also receive the inflatable duck, provided by Discount Pool Supply in Parkersburg, that has been featured with the car during the promotion for the derby as well.

“This is a great fundraiser and our biggest fundraiser of the year,” Miller said. “Where else can you have a chance to get a new car for just $5?”