Feathers flapped, racers chased, and the 2019 Avoca Quack Off annual duck races were a huge success!
The 39th Annual Quack Off was held Jan. 26 by the Avoca Volunteer Fire Department.
There were well over 200 entries in the races, and the event drew thousands to the tiny town of Avoca. An estimated 40 buses brought spectators and racers in from Lincoln and Omaha. Parking was a premium on streets all over town as many others made their way to Avoca for the annual fun!
Entries were accepted at Avoca Town Hall from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on race day.  
All you needed was a name for your duck, an entry fee, and a desire to have a little small town fun on a frozen day in January.
The duck names were sometimes naughty, sometimes fun and contained many a pun.
The races began at 1 p.m. sharp at the Tennis Courts. Hats were removed and a moment was spent thanking veterans for their service as the duck races began with the singing of the National Anthem.
Some brought their own ducks; most people used one of those available from the fire department. After picking up a feathered friend from the trailer, racers lined up in lanes five at a time for a chance at Quackoff Grand Champion.  The winner of each heat advanced until only four racers remained.
A longtime supporter and attendee of the Quack Off, Otoe resident Kris Simons was the winner of the 2019 event with her own duck “Austin Powers.”  Second place went to Andrew Vinton of Lincoln, third place was Steve Kastner of Hastings, and the fourth place winner was Bob Jacobsen of Omaha.
The Avoca Volunteer Fire Department spent months preparing for the event, and the forecast from a few weeks ago almost made them cancel the race.  
However, “warmer” temperatures prevailed, and it was a great day in Avoca to support the local volunteer fire department and enjoy a fun event. They will use the funds for the department needs and other needs in the community.