By Jon Bishop
HARVARD — On May 9, residents of Ayer, Shirley, Harvard, and Devens will get their ducks in a row.
It’s the 25th annual Ducky Wucky River Race, as well as the 63rd annual Apple Blossom Festival. The latter will be held on the Harvard Town Common from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“Right now, we have about 43 vendors,” said Melissa Fetterhoff, a member of the Rotary Club of Ayer, Shirley, Harvard, and Devens, the organization that puts on the events. “We anticipate having about 50.”
Fetterhoff said there will be a lot of craft vendors selling such things as jewelry, handmade dog beds, hand-turned wood bowls. There will also be foods to try.
Once Apple Blossom ends, everyone will travel down to Still River Depot Road and rubber ducks will be dumped into the Nashua River, thus beginning the race. Fetterhoff said about 30 local businesses donate items like gift certificates, free haircuts. Folks sponsor ducks for a fee and hope their numbered duck comes in the winner.
“The grand prize is the dinner for two, anywhere in the world,” she said. They pay for airfare for two, a two nights’ stay in a hotel, and dinner for two. Past winners have gone to Paris, Tokyo, Dublin, Australia.
Fetterhoff said her favorite part of the Apple Blossom Festival is seeing residents come out and have a good time.
“It’s always fun. You always run into people you haven’t seen (in awhile),” she said.
And the best part of the race is the anticipation of finding out the winner.
“It doesn’t take too, too long,” she said. “That’s fun — the anticipation and seeing the crowds get excited.”
According to the event website, the proceeds from both events will benefit the charitable causes supported by the Rotary Club.
Vendors for the Apple Blossom Festival include Yankee Home Improvement, Kim’s Custom Soaps, Hills Home Market, Re-Wine It!, and Wicked Good Candle & Decor.
She encouraged those who are interested in more information to visit www.duckywucky.org.
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