Carnival gets its ducks in a row

Published 9:29 pm Saturday, March 26, 2016

When volunteer firefighter and Boykins Spring Carnival Chairman Dave Stiglitz proposed the idea of the Tarrara Creek Duck Race, he said he was laughed at.

“Who’s going to pay $10 for one duck?” he recalled someone said to him.

But, more than 40 people gathered at the bridge that crosses over the aforementioned creek last April, awaiting 600 rubber ducks to come around the bend and to the finish line.

“It was a complete success,” Stiglitz said. “People laughed, and we ended up selling all of the tickets — and more.”

Some ducks got stuck in the foliage, others dragged under by catfish, but the race wasn’t about which ducks stayed afloat.

At least not to the members of the Boykins Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad.

“The winner won $500 last year, but the proceeds go to buying our equipment,” Stiglitz said, noting they recently purchased a $380,000 fire truck and a $180,000 ambulance.

The race is part of the Boykins Spring Carnival, which takes place on April 8-10. There are rides and games for children, fair foods, nightly concerts, a canned food drive and a fireman’s challenge.

The duck race will take place at 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 9, at 3 p.m. Entrance to the race is $10 per duck, six for $50 and 13 for $100. Prizes will be awarded for first through third place, as well as 62nd — randomly picked by Southampton County Clerk of Courts Rick Francis — and last place.

Strictly Business will perform from 6-10 p.m. on Friday, and Steve Owens and The Summertime Band will play from 7-10 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday is Family Day, with a number of religious bands set to take the stage all day.

Admission is $3 per person each day, free for children ages 6 and under. Hours of operation will be 4-10 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday; and 1-8 p.m. Sunday.

“We would never have been able to succeed without our sponsors,” Stiglitz said. “We only have so many fireman, so all of the volunteers are appreciated, too.”