Because of the continued restrictions in Benton and Franklin Counties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors of the Mid-Columbia Duck Race have made the decision to officially cancel the 2020 race that had been scheduled for later this fall.

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This is the first time in the race's 32-year history that it has been cancelled, but is just one of many long-time large community events to fall victim to the bloody pandemic this year.

This is a devastating development to all six local Rotary clubs as well as to the many human service organizations and projects supported by Rotary.

The current restrictions implemented by Washington state and local health districts have already necessitated other Rotary fundraising events and activities normally scheduled in 2020 all to be cancelled.

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"Because of the mandated restrictions, our ability to be in public places, selling tickets would be extremely limited. At this time, we have no assurance that we would be able to hold this type of event given the size and proximity of the crowd we typically have in Columbia Park on race day. Also, many people and businesses are struggling during this pandemic, so it is probably not the best time to be asking them to buy tickets or donate prizes. All things considered, we felt that cancelling this year's race was the appropriate action to take." That statement is from Rick Routh, Mid-Columbia Duck Race Board chairman. He continued, "This was not an easy decision and the Board sought the overall consensus of the six local Rotary clubs and their members before taking this action."

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Premier and grand prize sponsor Toyota of Tri-Cities, premier coupon sponsor Autobahn AutoCare Center and major sponsors Sun Pacific Energy and Moon Security have already indicated their commitment to carry over their participation to next year. "We fully expect to resume the Duck Race in 2021. Until then, we want everyone to stay healthy, stay safe, and continue to do what's needed to bring our counties into compliance so we can open back up."