Get your ducks in a row and don’t miss Auburn Day
The 27th Annual Duck Race and Auburn Day is being held on Saturday, September 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Auburn Village at 22 Hooksett Road, by the elementary school and public library. Activities planned for the day include the annual duck race, 5k Duckling Dash road race, local artisans and vendors, Salmon Falls Apple Pie Contest, Pretty Chicken Contest, Auburn Agricultural Anomalies, children’s activities and more. Event admission and most entertainment for this event are free.
The duck race has been the main fundraiser for the Historical Association for more than 25 years. So how does it all work? Duck Race tickets, which can be purchased before or on the day of the event, are $5 each or grab a Quack Pack and get five tickets for $20. Each ticket number corresponds with a yellow, rubber duck and at 3 p.m. on the day of the event, thousands of ducks will be dropped into the water and race down to Griffin Falls. The first duck to make its journey over the falls and under the foot bridge will be deemed the grand winner.
First place will receive $1,000, second will receive $500, third place will receive $250 and $24-$100 prizes will be awarded to fourth through tenth places.
Attendees can also look forward to a variety of great food and can stop by for an Italian sausage at the Auburn Fire Association booth, hand-cut French fries at the Auburn Police Association booth, a slice of pizza at Cindy’s Comfort Kitchen or hamburgers and hot dogs at the Historical Association tent. For those with a sweet tooth, don’t miss the Girls Scouts, who will have cotton candy for sale, and Long Meadow Church, who will be selling fried dough. There will also be vendor booths selling chocolate, breads, jellies and other baked goods.
Kid’s activities include animals to see and touch from Wildlife Encounters, Roaming Railroad train rides and fun and games with the Griffin Free Public Library. The Auburn Village School’s children’s tent will have blowup ducks for sale, face painting, duck fishing and chuck-a-duck. The Pinkerton Academy Marching Band, Cracker Jacks the Clown and Heel & Toe Square Dance Club will also give special performances.
In addition to live entertainment, there will be dozens of local artisans and vendors lining Hooksett Road by the village waterfall. Cheese, maple syrup, quilts, wool items, honey, dips and rubs, jams and jellies, jewelry, soap, socks, mustards, chocolate and homemade desserts will all be available for purchase. Live music from the Peabody’s Coal Train, a Civil War encampment, woodworking, hand-cranked socks and pottery demonstrations will be held throughout the day.
“This year is going to be one of the biggest and best,” says Dan Carpenter, president of the Auburn Historical Association. “We have something for everyone to enjoy and are thrilled to have the talented musicians from Peabody’s Coal Train with us this year.”
Peabody’s Coal Train, an acoustic, six-piece Americana band will be on stage throughout the day playing a variety of instruments, including banjo, guitar, harmonica and mandolin.
Those who have a knack for baking are invited to participate in the fifth annual Salmon Falls Apple Pie Contest and rules and registration information are available at the Historical Association’s website. The top three bakers will each receive a beautifully crafted pie plate created by Salmon Falls Stoneware of Dover. Once the judges have picked the winners the remaining pie slices will be sold to event attendees at $3 per slice and the money raised will benefit the Auburn Historical Association.
Runners won’t want to miss the Duckling Dash, a 5k road race that takes participants on the beautiful trails around Little Lake Massabesic in Auburn. The race is organized by the Good Shepherds Foundation and all proceeds from the race will go directly to the Pinkerton Academy Homeless Fund.
Back by popular demand, the Pretty Chicken Contest welcomes community members to bring their favorite “girls” to Auburn Day and event attendees will vote on their favorite chickens. The chicken with the most votes will be crowned the Pretty Chicken Contest winner and will receive $30. Second place will receive $20 and third place will receive $10.
Also back this year is the Auburn Agriculture Anomalies contest which invites local garden enthusiasts and farmers to show off their crooked carrots, peculiar potatoes and abnormal apples. Basically, the weirder the garden wonder, the better.
“We kind of started it as a “let’s see what happens” component for the 2018 Auburn Day event and to everyone’s surprise, it was very popular,” says Carpenter. “It’s funny, quirky and almost every gardener can relate to funky growths and is invited participate.”
Those interested in participating in Agriculture Anomalies can drop off up to two homegrown produce picks on the day of the event. Similar to the Pretty Chicken Contest, event attendees will each be given one ticket to vote for their favorite abnormality and the winner will receive $30, second place will receive $20 and third place will receive $10.
All Auburn Day activities will be held outdoors under tents and canopies on Hooksett Road between the Auburn Village School and Village Four Corners. Please be advised: Hooksett Road will be closed to all traffic from Auburn Village School to the Village Four Corners (Chester Road, Manchester Road and Raymond Road) from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. for the event. This is a rain or shine event.
Free parking will be available at Auburn Town Hall, Auburn Village School, Auburn Historical Association, Auburn Safety Complex and the old ice skating rink at the four corners. There will be a van providing transportation back and forth from the parking areas to the main event.
For more information about this event, including a comprehensive listing of vendors, entry forms, a comprehensive list of artisans and participants, please visit www.auburnday.com.