Thousands of yellow duckies will be dumped into the Chicago River for the 2021 Chicago Ducky Derby on Thursday for a great cause.
At 1 p.m. 70,000 ducks are set to splash into the river off of the Columbus Bridge to benefit the Special Olympics Illinois. Onlookers can watch the ducks float to the finish line while enjoying various games and a live performance by 90s Pop Nation.
Ducks are available for adoption for $5 each and can be bought in person at 401 N. Michigan Ave. or online until 12:30 p.m. or once they sell out.
This year, Special Olympics Illinois will also offer the Chicago Ducky Derby Virtual Festival for those not attending in person, they said. Viewers can enjoy the event live through the Special Olympics Illinois Facebook Page and Twitch Channel beginning at 12 p.m.
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Special Olympics Illinois athlete and Naperville native Mallory Taylor will serve as the 2021 Duck Ambassador and will appear at the finish line to hold up the winning duck from The Odyssey.
Morgan Gautrat of the Chicago Red Stars will serve as the Celebrity Duck Ambassador.
Mallory has been competing since she was 8 years old. She is a graduate of Metea Valley High School and has won more than 75 medals in sports including bocce, golf, basketball, volleyball and soccer, the ducky derby said.
In addition to physical fitness, Mallory says she has gained confidence and language/social skills from the Special Olympics.
Special Olympics Illinois is a non-profit sports organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 23,100 athletes with intellectual disabilities and over 13,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities.