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Quacking launch party held ahead of Chester Duck Race

Organisers think this year's ducks are the best yet

The ducks at the launch party at Hickory's Smokehouse Chester

Hickory’s Smokehouse Chester hosted the Chester Duck Race launch party last week ahead of the annual event which raises funds for the Countess of Chester’s Babygrow Appeal.

The Duck Plus 2 party on Thursday (September 7) offered duck owners the chance to show off their ducks and check out the competition.

This year’s race sees a record amount of entries with over 85 ducks adopted and decorated ready to grace the water at 3pm on Saturday, September 16.

The companies supporting the race have the chance to compete for various accolades including Facebook Favourite, Best Dressed, and celebrity Looka Like and the coveted Fastest Duck. The Facebook Favourite competition is now open for you to vote for your favourite duck on the The Countess Charity Facebook page.

The DataSpace duck

This is the third year Hickory’s Smokehouse Chester has supported the race.

Hickory’s community co-ordinator Paula Brown said: “We are absolutely thrilled to be sponsoring the Duck Race again this year. It’s a really fun event for such a wonderful cause right here on our doorstep at the riverside and the whole team love getting involved.”

Corporate and events fundraising manager at The Countess Charity Hanna Clarke thinks that this year’s ducks are definitely the best yet.

She said: “The standard of ducks this year is absolutely unbelievable. The time and effort put into them by the companies supporting the race is fantastic. The Duck Race is a great platform to promote their companies to the local community, the hospital community, engage with staff, customers and support a local charity at the same time.”

DataSpace’s entry into the Corporate Duck Race was designed and completed by Matilda, eight from Lostock Gralam CE Primary School she named the duck ‘Sweet Shop Stevie’.

Matilda said: “I got inspired to do this design because my favourite sweet shop got closed down and I love sweets.”

Dandy’s Topsoil also asked for inspiration via social media from local children and the winner was Paige Williams, six with a Moana inspired Duck.

The Dandy's Top Soil duck

Hickory’s Smokehouse who were the hosts for the evening’s duck took an America theme in line with the restaurant dressing it in red, blue and white feathers.

Allington Hughes Law have been inspired by the recent events in Manchester and have dressed their duck in honour of Ariana Grande.

Izzy Grey from ‘We Love Chester app’ roped in local designer Matthew O’Brien to give their duck the extra edge with a personalised pink hoodie and tutu.

All the ducks now have been taken to Newgate Row, on Eastgate Street for display up until the day of the race when they will be on display down by The Groves until they take to the water at 3pm.

There will be activities and entertainment for the children from 12 noon and the baby ducks will be available to purchase at £2 each and you will be in with a chance of winning a cash prize of £250, £150 or £100 thanks to Puddle Ducks Chester. If you want to get your baby ducks ahead of the day you can pop into the Fundraising Office at The Countess of Chester Hospital or buy online from www.eventbrite.co.uk by searching Chester Duck Race 2017.

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