Hundreds enjoy Bradford on Avon's Easter duck race

Wiltshire Times: John Potter, mayor Bradford on Avon, promotes the Easter duck race John Potter, mayor Bradford on Avon, promotes the Easter duck race

It was another sell-out year for the traditional Bradford on Avon Duck Race on Easter Monday, with hundreds of families turning out to watch the annual event and enjoy the sun.

This year’s event saw 639 plastic ducks let loose from the town bridge at midday, before floating downstream in a race to the finishing line at the Riverside Inn.

Entrants paid £1 each to sponsor a duck, while members of the Bradford on Avon Canoe Club were in the water to collect the ducks and nudge wayward ones in the right direction.

The event is organised by the town’s Chamber of Commerce, with prizes donated by local businesses going to the sponsor of the first three ducks and the sponsor of the duck in last place.

Mayor John Potter, who was joined by his grandchildren Jack, 16 months, Charlie, four, and Fox, three, said: “It’s a great day and it’s fantastic to see such big crowds. It was a brilliant turnout and hundreds of ducks were sold.

“I’ve got my grandchildren along with me and they have really enjoyed themselves. The duck race is such a great community event and it’s a proper Bradford on Avon day.”

Nicky Carter, who runs Art Is In The Name and helps organise the race, said: “We were very grateful it wasn’t the day before as the weather was horrible. Luckily we were blessed with fantastic weather.

“We sold out of ducks again this year even though we had more than last year, so we will be getting even more for next year’s event and we are going to start selling them earlier as we had another mad rush in the morning.

“It’s great to see so many people come together and the event always gets a great turnout. I would like to thank everyone involved in making it a success, especially the canoe club as we couldn’t do it without them.”

Caroline Philpott, who is president of the Chamber of Commerce and runs Tillions, said it was incredible to see the duck race draw such an impressive crowd and added that some of this year’s funds will go to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and the town’s Christmas lights.

Resident Tina Buckley, who attended the race with her husband Jon and their children Emily, eight, and Lillie, six, said: “We only moved to the town in December, so this is our first duck race and it’s been great.

“It’s a lovely community day and it’s nice to come out and walk along the canal. It’s a really interesting event and it’s nice to see how many people have come out to support it.”

Mary-Anne Steele, from Bradford on Avon, was also at the race with her children Aiden, seven, and Benjamin, four, and said: “We have been once before when we first moved her just over a year ago and the kids absolutely love it. Thankfully the sun came out as well.”

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