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Pembroke duck race to benefit historic Tos Theater
Pembroke duck race
Gary Mills with the first duck purchases for the Sept. 10 Duck Derby to benefit the restoration of the historic Tos Theater in Pembroke. - photo by Photo provided.

Duck season opened early in Pembroke this year. But don’t grab your shotgun just yet, these ducks don’t fly, they float!

The First Annual Duck Derby will take place at 5 p.m. on Sept. 10 at the Pembroke City Pool, with proceeds going toward renovation of the historic Tos Theatre downtown. The rubber duck that wins the derby will win half the pot for its owner. The ducks can be purchased at city hall for $5 each.

As of Friday, only 17 numbered ducks remained.

“The response has been pretty good,” said DDA Director Alex Floyd. “We started with 100 ducks and I would love to have to order more.”

Every week leading up to the derby, “Judy,” a four-foot inflatable duck, will be hidden somewhere within the city limits. The first person to hunt her down at each new location and submit a selfie to the DDA Facebook page with Judy — named for Mayor Judy Cook — will win a free entry in the race.

For those who want to increase their chances of winning, the DDA is offering a “quack pack” (six ducks for $25), a “quacker’s dozen” (12 for $50) and a “flock” (25 for $100).

Floyd is hopeful the event will take off and continue to grow in future years.

Restoration of the Tos Theatre is the ultimate goal. The theatre was built in 1938 and was in use until the mid to late 1970s. Once restored, the DDA plans to use the theatre to not only show movies, but to also provide space for community theatre, pageants and other local events.

To purchase a duck, pick up a coupon for $1 from a Pembroke business and take it to city hall. Floyd said residents can also take their August water bill to city hall to purchase a duck. After the race, women’s clothing company LulaRoe will be in the J. Dixie Harn Community Center selling merchandise, with a portion of the proceeds going to renovation fund.

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