Rubber Ducky Festival taking flight

Top six finalists could get ride in hot air balloon and the chance to win $1,000
By: Margaret Snider, Placer Herald Correspondent
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Rubber duckies will rain from the sky on May 6, tumbling down from the Re/Max hot air balloon during the Foothill Rubber Ducky Festival in Rocklin. The duck drop is just one of the activities planned during the festival scheduled from 8 am to 2 p.m. at Johnson Springview Park. Proceeds benefit RRUFF (Rocklin Residents Unite For Fido) and the new dog park. Not only will dogs and their owners benefit from the day, but anyone “adopting” one of the 1,000 rubber duckys will have a chance to win $1,000. Cost to “adopt” a rubber ducky is $5 for one (6 for $25 or 10 for $50). The six closest ducky “owners” will have a chance to go up in the balloon and personally drop their ducky again for a chance to win prizes, including $1,000 cash. After watching a “golf ball drop” on television, Jim Crosthwaite of First Step Sports Marketing Group decided to try a variation. “We came up with a Rubber Ducky Drop instead,” said Crosthwaite, “and with a whole festival to go around that theme.” Crosthwaite has spent most of his career in the Parks and Recreation field, working in the past for Auburn Recreation District and the City of Roseville. Now his career focuses on initiating events for the public. Not only does he enjoy planning fun events, but he believes it is important to be creative and passionate about what your career. “We like (to put on) the kids and family festivals, especially the free ones,” Crosthwaite said. Nowadays it’s pretty tough to charge admission on these kinds of things. It’s nice to do something for free.” David Wakefield’s company, Cheers Over California, Inc., is the contractor for the RE/MAX hot air balloon program for Northern California and Hawaii. Quick Quack Car Wash will perform the actual drop. “We’re going to take the whole bunch of (rubber duckies) up underneath the balloon and drop them on a target,” Wakefield said. If the “owners” of the six finalists are unable to go up in the balloon, a proxy will be assigned to represent them. Free balloon rides will be offered after the drop (again, weather permitting). Other events include a 3K Quick Quack Duck Dash and a Doggy Duck Race (Pinewood Derby style). Rocklin Pet Shop will host a Rubber Duck Regatta. Craig Lyman, owner of Douglas Feed and Pet Supply, will bring live baby ducklings. “For most of Jim’s events we help support logistics with vehicles and equipment/pet watering stations and pet waste stations,” he said. The event will benefit RRUFF (Rocklin Residents Unite For Fido), which was founded in 2009 by a dog-walking group looking for a safe and legal place to let their dogs play off leash. “We’ll be focusing on getting more dogs licensed in Rocklin. That is part of our commitment to our community,” said Vicki Bottini Curtis, RRUFF founder and president. The organization now consists of an eight-member Board of Directors, 50 official dues-paying members, and an e-mail list of approximately 450, according to Bottini Curtis. “In the future . . . we’ll be having classes: puppy training, dog classes,” she said. “We’ll be having adoption days and special events, just whatever the community wants and feels is important.” Grand opening for the RRUFF dog park will be held March 24. For more information on the Foothill Rubber Ducky Festival, visit ________ Foothill Rubber Ducky Festival When: Sunday, May 6, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Rain/weather date Sunday, June 3) Where: Johnson Springview Park on Fifth and Farron Streets Cost: Free Info: Lucky duck could win $1,000 at festival. Proceeds will benefit Rocklin’s dog park