Manchester Duck Race has been cancelled – but you can enjoy the best dressed duck competition from home


The Manchester Duck Race will no longer be taking place on Good Friday, following Government advice for people to stay at home in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t all still get involved – and raise money for charity, too.

Even though the duck race has been cancelled this year, the Brainwave charity will still be holding the Best Dressed Corporate Duck Competition online, so you can enjoy the fun and vote for your favourite from home.

The hugely entertaining competition sees corporate teams get creative and decorate big rubber ducks in a variety of outfits, hoping for theirs to be crowned the best dressed

Photo: Gary Brown

Last year, entries included some magnificent creations such as ‘Billing Eve’, a duck version of Villanelle from the popular TV drama Killing Eve. Other memorable entrants included duck versions of Mario and Luigi, and ‘RuPaul’s Duck Race’. 

Despite the unprecedented situation this year, lots of local businesses have pledged support for the duck race by purchasing a corporate duck to be decorated at home. 

“We are so grateful that our corporate supporters are continuing to support us,” says Carole Headley, senior fundraising manager for Brainwave, a charity which aims to ensure every child with a disability has access to support so they can reach their full potential and achieve greater independence.

“We know this is a difficult time for businesses and individuals, as well as charities and we are so pleased to be able to still hold the Best Dressed Corporate Duck Competition for everyone to enjoy. 

Photo: Gary Brown

“I can’t wait to see what the corporate teams have come up with – now more than ever, everyone needs a bit of a pick-me-up. If previous years are anything to go by, I’m sure we’ll have some creations that will have us ‘quacking’ up with laughter! 

“And of course, the money raised from this competition will really help Brainwave and the families we support.” 

“Although things are somewhat different this year, we’re really pleased that the best-dressed duck competition, which is always so popular, is still going ahead and raising money for this fantastic charity,” said Phil Mayall from The English Cities Fund, a development company which works in partnership with the public sector to transform urban areas – including New Bailey, part of the 50-acre Salford Central regeneration programme where the Duck Race usually takes place.

Photo: Gary Brown

“Not only does purchasing and decorating a duck at home help to support the charity, the competition offers some light relief for those at home who will get to cast their vote for their favourite duck. 

“We hope to welcome everyone back to New Bailey for the 2021 Manchester Duck Race and continue our proud association with the event, while also showcasing the progress of the site, which will have come on leaps and bounds. 

“In the meantime, we urge everyone to get behind this year’s competition and vote for their favourite at a time when we all need some fun and to support one another.”

All entries will be added to an online poll on Brainwave’s website, which will go live on 31st March 2020. Anyone can vote for their favourite creations and it’s free. 

Voting closes at 12pm on Thursday 9th April, and the winners will be announced on Good Friday 10th April.

If your team would like to get involved, corporate ducks are still available to purchase on Brainwave’s website. But hurry! The name and a photograph or video of your corporate duck entry need to be submitted to [email protected] by 30th March 2020. 

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