Weird Traditions

01.27.13

My Duck is Faster than Yours

Pretty sure this tradition from Avoca, Nebraska is about as original as it gets:

Thirty-three years ago, two guys sat in an Avoca bar and had an argument something like this:

"My duck's faster than yours!"

"Oh, yeah!"

"Prove it!"

As happens with arguments that start in bars, the men hauled their ducks to a farm pond and raced. Who won isn't important.

What matters is that race evolved into the Avoca Quack-Off, one of Nebraska's quirkiest -- or quackiest -- winter events.

Last year, more than 1,000 people came to watch and compete in duck races. Avoca, population 240, is about 32 miles east of Lincoln.

"It's just a heckuva lot of fun," said David Seay, who has lived in Avoca since 1990.

People come by the busloads from Omaha, Lincoln and other towns. Last year, there were more than 40 buses, Seay said. Many bus trips are organized by bars.

To get into the spirit, some people dress up in duck costumes or other duck-related apparel to cheer on their favorite fowl.

Bonus points: this fine young duck racer is a pledge brother of mine.