If you’re in Fort Providence next weekend, you can expect to see 5,000 rubber ducks floating along the Mackenzie River.

The Juanita Hirtle Memorial Duck Race will be taking place in Fort Providence next Sunday, in honour of one of its residents who passed away from cancer last year.

Last year, a duck race was organized to help raise funds for Hirtle, says organizer Linda Croft.

“A very dear friend of mine, and to lots of members of the community passed away last year from cancer,” says Croft. “And right before she passed away, she had to move home to Nova Scotia where she had a larger family base to take care of her. And we held a duck race to raise funds to help her out while she was there.”

This year’s race will be taking place during the Mackenzie Days Festival, but is not an actual Mackenzie Days Society event, Croft says.

The Mackenzie Days Society met one night and Croft brought up the idea of holding the race again this year.

“And they said, why don’t we call it the Juanita Hirtle memorial duck race?” Croft explains.

“So then I ran with that and I’ve been selling ducks since back in March, when we came up with the idea. And people from as far away as Nova Scotia are buying ducks to put in the river in Juanita’s memory.”

If all of the ducks get a sponsor, there will be a $5000 prize for the first duck to cross the finish line. The rest of the money raised from the race will go towards benefitting youth in the community.

“That’s something that Juanita felt very strongly about, were the kids and their well-being,” Croft says. “And I think that she’d be very happy and proud to know that the event is going on in her honour.”

Ducks are available for a $10 donation. Anyone who wants to sponsor a duck can contact organizer Linda Croft via mackenziedayssociety@gmail.com.