At 5 p.m. Saturday, the air horn went off and hundreds of rubber ducks and turtles were poured into Big Elkin Creek above the library as the Elkin Valley Trails Association (EVTA) launched the annual rubber duck and turtle regatta. The rubber toys cascaded over the water fall and through the rapids towards the Boy Scouts at the library.
“I think we’ve done pretty well this year,” said Joe Hicks with the EVTA. “I knew up to today we sold $4,100 worth of raffle tickets. It’s been a good turnout.”
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Dee Neal, events coordinator with the EVTA. “I love to see the children out here. Last year it went on after the big rain so we’re grateful for a beautiful day.”
The first 41 toys to cross the finish line were qualified for the raffle which included a wide range of prizes, including a kayak, bikes, restaurant meals, tickets to the North Carolina Zoo, wineries, and Tweetsie Railroad, pottery, clothes, and dozens of other goodies.
The regatta raises money for the EVTA and the scholarships for students through the Yadkin Valley Rotary Club.
“We have been doing this for seven years,” said Hicks. “The Yadkin Valley Rotary and other organizations had done this in the past and when we established the trails we hopped on board. We split the money with them. Their money goes towards scholarships for high school students in Starmount, Elkin and East Wilkes, and our money goes back into the trails and trails construction. It all comes back to the community.”
The funds for the EVTA will go into further construction for the Elkin & Alleghany Rail Trail going on past the new bridge and towards the old Walmart store in the northern part of Elkin.
In total, this year’s regatta raised around $5,400 in raffle tickets.
Everything will be put together this week and the organizers will start notifying people of their prizes at the end of the week.
“We’ll know the number when we draw them out of the creek,” said Hicks. “Now it’s a matter of going through all the sheets and finding the names of the critters.”
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.