There are two important races that take place each Independence Day in Chester, the Chester Classic 4th of July Run & Walk and the Great Feather River Duck Race.
The importance of the Chester Rotary-sponsored Duck Race is, of course, that every dollar generated by the race goes toward scholarships for Almanor area high school students.
With every purchase of a ticket that enters a duck in the race, the community is supporting those scholarship efforts that typically raise $3,000 to $4,000 annually.
With high waters last year, the ducks could not safely brave the cold, swift currents and were relegated to a temporary swimming pool.
This year, conditions were perfect and they indeed swam again.
At 2 p.m. on the 4th, the ducks were released into the Feather River at Chester Park for their dash downstream to the Chester Library.
With water levels lower, the track was a bit slower, but spectators still were enthusiastic about rooting their entry along.
At approximately 2:16 p.m., Chester Rotary President Becky Brewster and Chester Rotary Exchange Student Hannah Doyle scooped the first-, second- and third-place ducks from the river as they crossed the finish line.
The rest of the entries were saved from a long trip to the lake through the efforts and dedication of the Smith and Eidhammer families.
This year’s winning entries were:
– First Place – $1,000, ticket 3104: Toni Bauerlein, Reno
– Second Place – $500, ticket 3167: Cheryl Henry, Chester
– Third Place – $250, ticket 4094: Tim Nelson, San Francisco
The Chester Rotary Club expressed thanks to all the folks that supported the race and a special thanks to all those that sold tickets, prepped the ducks and volunteered on race day.