If you visit the relatively small town of Güstrow near the A19 motorway during autumn, you might just get there in time for their annual Rubber Duck Race. Hundreds of tiny yellow rubber ducks are taken from their natural habitat of the homely bathtub, dumped into a river running through Güstrow’s park by the castle, and forced to swim for their artificial lives – or at least for a prize for their “adoptive parents.” The price for an adoption is €3 per duck and the fifty fastest little ducks win their guardians cars, concert vouchers, a meal at McDonald’s, or children’s beach toys – and what more could you ask from plastic poultry, right?
The organisers set up festivities around the race, so watching the yellow toys bob up and down the river doesn’t have to be your only highlight of the day – in 2016, the race was accompanied and introduced by a children’s festival with fun activities for your little ones. So while the ducks do their best, you can enjoy street food and cheer them on from the bridges and riverbanks the park in Güstrow has to offer. The next race is set for the 23rd of September 2017. And, while you’re there, explore Güstrow’s historic city and several parks that are right around the corner of the rubber duck battlefield! The (occassionally) idyllic city is worth a stroll and you’ll be in for an afternoon pleasantly spent. And if the day ends and your rubber duck didn’t win you anything, you can secretly make off with one of the tiny friends as your consolation prize – but when you perform its baptism in the infamous river, hands off Frederick! That name’s taken.