Funky Festivals
by Joey Green

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Rubber Duck Regatta
At precisely 3 p.m. on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend in Cincinnati, two massive cranes tilt a cargo container over the Purple People Bridge and drop more than 100,000 rubber ducks into the Ohio River for a ­quarter-mile race. Founded in 1995, the annual Rubber Duck Regatta, the largest and longest-running rubber-duck race in the nation, has raised more than $5.5 million for The Freestore Foodbank, a charitable group that distributes food through pantries and soup kitchens. The group sells the rubber ducks for $5 each (or $25 for six). The owner of the first duck to cross the finish line wins a new car and possibly $1 million if the numbered rubber duck is the pre­selected “million-­dollar duck.” The downside? I couldn’t get the Sesame Street song “Rubber Duckie” out of my head for weeks.

Superman Celebration
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Superman (currently set by 867 people during the July 2013 Kendall Calling festival in Cumbria, U.K.). Every June since 1979, the small town of Metropolis, Ill., welcomes thousands of Superman fans to celebrate the Man of Steel with four days of “truth, justice and the American way.” You can have your picture taken next to the 15-foot-tall bronze statue of Superman standing in Superman Square, visit The Super Museum (housing the largest collection of Superman memorabilia outside the Fortress of Solitude), enjoy outdoor screenings of Superman cartoons (our kids loved that) and be officially sworn in by the mayor as “Honorary Citizens of Metropolis”—provided you leave your kryptonite at home.

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Copyright © 2013 Joey Green. All rights reserved.
Reprinted from American Way magazine.


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