Friday, 25 April 2014

The Great Sheffield Duck Race

On Easter Monday after the dark looming clouds that started the day cleared off to welcome the cheerful sun, around 2,500 rubber ducks raced along the River Porter for the annual Great Sheffield Duck Race at Endcliffe Park. This charity event is organised by Friends of Porter Valley to raise money for the restoration of the Forge Dam and on its 6th year has attracted a record number of 4,000 spectators cheering on the floating ducks by the riverside while children paddled in the water in their shirts and slippers, helping racers who were lagging behind. 

We arrived late, the event started at 2pm and it was already halfway through when we arrived but we still had plenty of fun following the course of the race towards the rocky end where the eventful winner was joyfully proclaimed. When the crowd turned towards the stalls surrounding the fields, so did we, passing by a long queue forming at the sole ice cream van strategically positioned in front of the playgrounds. 

Everything was packed, including the grounds but we were still lucky to find a space to gobble our sandwiches and watch other families who are sat around their barbecues cheering on little Olivers playing football, tiny Eleanors pushing their mini prams and lively terriers chasing after their treasured twigs. It was certainly the epitome of a British public gathering in the city's middle class heartland. But with a charitable cause and cultural preservation at the centre of this event, it was worth taking part in!

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