Sertoma Duck Race Festival in Ozark draws large crowd

Published: Jun. 19, 2021 at 9:05 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 19, 2021 at 10:45 PM CDT
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OZARK, Mo. (KY3) - The Sertoma Duck Race Festival in Ozark attracts people from all over southwest Missouri.

Typically, it draws huge crowds of people with events like a hot air balloon glow, duck race and a pie-eating contest.

“Everybody in southwest Missouri, Ozark, Nixa, we’re all getting together just having a good time. We’ve been kept inside, it’s just nice to finally get out,” said attendee Glendon Wilson.

The Sertoma Duck Festival was canceled last year when COVID-19 cases began to surge.

“It was heartbreaking for our club because we look forward to this event,” said Ozark Mayor Bradley A. Jackson. “Every single year, we put a lot of work, hundreds of hours by each of our members, to put this event on. And to not be able to do it, it kind of hurt a little bit.”

With another recent spike of COVID-19 cases reported in southwest Missouri, some may be concerned about hosting such a large event. This year’s turnout is slightly less than expected, but the pandemic hasn’t stopped people from coming out.

“I mean, if you’re concerned about it and want to wear a mask, that’s your own choice,” said attendee River Moss.

“I think everybody is so ready to be out and be back to normal,” said vendor Don Wheeler.

Organizers say they have taken some precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“We always hope that people will take precautionary measures based on their own health and make their own decisions,” said Jackson. “We do have handwashing stations down here and hand sanitizer down here. So if people feel the need to keep their hands clean, which is a great practice to do, we can social distance.”

This event raises money for local charities and will end with a fireworks show Saturday evening.

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