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Will the ducks be ready for their May Day race?

The Great Ilkley Duck Race returns on May Day bank holiday Monday and the stress is beginning to show on the Director Glen Berry’s face!

The event is organised by the Ilkley Wharfedale Rotary Club and the ducks have been all over Glen’s house, kitchen, living room, bedrooms and bathroom. It is time for the final roll-call but calling out the numbers of the 4,000 ducks is tiring work. Will he ever manage to do it?

The winning duck will earn someone £200 and the chasing runner-up duck will earn someone £100. 3rd, 4th and 5th prizes are £50 each.

Rotarians will be selling tickets at Tesco on Saturday, 30th April and also at Real Food Ilkley on Sunday. They can be bought on-line at On the day of the race last minute tickets will be sold below the New Bridge as well as on Grove Road prior to the Carnival procession.

A spokesperson for the Duck Race said: "Although the Great Ilkley Duck Race and The Carnival are separate events, primarily 2nd May is Carnival Day in Ilkley so please come along and support the Carnival and all the hard work that has gone into organising this event after the lockdown years.

"You don’t have to be at the Great Ilkley Duck Race to receive your prize, Ilkley Wharfedale Rotary Club will contact you through the method written on your ticket stub so, if you’re an Ilkley resident you could either come down to The Carnival field for the presentation or the Club will arrange for the cheque to be delivered to you.

"There is no plastic left in the river after the event as all the ducks are caught by nets and any that escape the nets are caught by kayakers. Last year the kayakers cleared significant debris from the river and we would like to think we leave the river cleaner than it was before the event. It’s just a bit of fun. Please support us and The Carnival on May 2nd."


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