The Great Norwich Duck Race set to return this year

The Great Norwich Duck Race will return as part of this year's Lord Mayor's Celebrations and organisers are hoping to nearly double the amount of plastic competitors.

About 2,500 toy ducks were entered into the charity fun race last year but the aim is to get 4,000 in the water next month.

This year's race is due for the final night of the main Lord Mayor's Celebrations weekend, on Sunday, July 10 – with each duck costing �2 and prizes for the first four ranging from �200 to �50. The event is organised by the 1st Norwich Sea Scout Group to help raise money for their �360,000 project to build a new headquarters at their Old Lakenham site.

Most of the money raised will help them move closer to achieving their aim of starting the project in 2012, but a portion will also be donated to the Lord Mayor of Norwich's charity of choice.

Organiser Jane Stafford, who is also the secretary of the Sea Scout's fundraising project, said: 'Last year's race was fantastic. The support from local people was great and the weather was great.

'Of the �360,000 we need to raise, so far we are at about �160,000 and we're quite confident of another �100,000, with about �50,000 pledged from various groups once we are under way with the work. The duck race is worth about �5,000 to us so it's a big chunk at once and will hopefully help us to make sure we are under way in 2012.'

There is also an added race this year, The Corporate Duck Race.

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This will see 50 giant toy ducks race each other, at �250 per duck for companies looking to take part, with 20pc of the money raised going to the winner to donate to the charity of their choice.

Companies will get the opportunity to decorate their big duck as they wish and will also be able to keep their duck to compete in future years.

Councillor Brenda Arthur, leader of Norwich City Council and cabinet member for culture and events, said: 'We're really pleased the duck race is back as part of the Lord Mayor's Celebrations again this year. It's a lovely event raising money for a worthwhile cause, so I'd encourage everyone to buy a duck and cheer on the contenders in the race.'

You can purchase your duck ahead of the event at the Waitrose supermarket in Eaton during the weekend of June 18-19. Log on to www.greatnorwichduckrace.blogspot.com for more information.

Are you organising a big event in Norwich? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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