Truckee Duckee Derbee returns after one-year hiatus |

Truckee Duckee Derbee returns after one-year hiatus

The 15th annual Truckee Duckee Derbee is scheduled for Sunday, June 24.
Courtesy of Whitby B Photography

After a one-year hiatus, the Truckee Duckee Derbee will return to the River Ranch Lodge & Restaurant on Sunday, raising funds for the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe.

After being canceled last year due to high-water conditions, according to humane society Development Director Dale Lawrence, the Duckee Derbee is back for its 15th year, and is expected to bring in enough sponsorships to send roughly 400 rubber ducks racing down the Truckee River.

The day’s festivities will also include the annual Dogz in Dudz canine costume contest, a raffle, and live music from the River Ranch Lodge’s outdoor patio, which opens for the summer on Sunday.

Each year at the festival, a local pet is named the Truckee Duckee Derbee Pet of Honor. This year Leana, a pit bull found abandoned on Donner Summit with a bullet fragment in her head, was named the recipient of the annual award.

Through the efforts of the human society, Leana was nursed back to health, adopted, and now serves the community as a therapy dog.

The festival begins at 1 p.m. Sunday, and cost to sponsor a duck is $10. The top three ducks will win a cash prize based on how many ducks are sponsored at the event. Each duck also comes with one raffle ticket.

The festivities will also include live music by After Eights on the outdoor patio, a barbecue, drink specials, and the Dogz in Dudz and Cool Catz in Hatz contests. People sporting the most festive derby hats, as determined by a panel of judges, will be awarded prizes.

The Dogz in Dudz costume contest is free to local canines, with all participants receiving a complimentary doggie goodie bag. Prizes will be awarded to the most stylish canine. Judges for this year’s contests include Olympians Tamara McKinney and Marco Sullivan.

This year the costume contest will feature its first ever canine judge, Mr. Snax, who can often be found perched atop a barstool somewhere in Truckee. Snax will join owner Alan Kozlowski in deciding the best dressed dog.

In past years the festival has welcomed dogs from former NFL quarterback Michael Vick’s notorious Bad Newz Kennel, according to Squaw Valley Times’ Bill Jensen, who described the canines as “gentle and loving dogs.”

The Dogz in Dudz will begin at 2 p.m. with the Duckee Derbee going off at approximately 3 p.m.

This year’s grand prize for the raffle will be a Tahoe cruiser mountain bike. There will also be a “not-so-silent auction,” which will include a signed baseball by San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, and a Squaw Alpine getaway package.

Ducks may be purchased online prior to the event at or by calling (530) 581-0181.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at

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