GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – A flock of 12,000 rubber ducks floated downstream in The Reedy River Duck Derby in downtown Greenville on Saturday. Several lucky ducks eventually crossed the finish line ahead of thousands of competitors.

2022 Duck Derby
2022 Duck Derby in downtown Greenville.

The event began when organizers released thousands of rubber ducks that meandered down the river to see which ones crossed the finish line first. More than $1 million was raised for the charities supported by The Rotary Club of Reedy River, which “adopted” out 12,000 ducks at about $10 for the annual fundraising event. Each duck included information about the owner that organizers used to identify the winners.

“The funds raised are a direct infusion into organizations which know the needs of the community and can expertly fill them,” said rotary club president Bobby Brown in a press release.

Duck Derby 2022
Duck Derby 2022 in downtown Greenville, May 7.

Grand prize winner Bill Coon, whose duck came in first, won free groceries for a year from Publix. Second prize winner Jesse Davis won $2,500; and third place went to Elizabeth Lyon, who won an overnight stay at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Greenville. Several other prizes were also given away.

Joy West won the best hat contest with a hand-painted duck carousel headpiece.

Joy West
Joy West, 2022 Duck Derby best hat winner.

This marks the 18th annual consecutive year that the group has organized this charitable fundraiser. Charities applied to receive funds from the event in January. 100% of the derby profits go to local charities, according to a press release from the rotary club.