By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Savoring memories from Fun Days

Marcus Larson / News-RegisterChildren watch their rubber duckies  swim  the Yamhill River during Fun Days.
Marcus Larson / News-Register
Children watch their rubber duckies "swim" the Yamhill River during Fun Days.

Whatever she said, it worked. Her little yellow duck, Number 75, beat six dozen others in the first-ever Carlton Fun Days rubber duckie race.

Teagan, who went to state with the Yamhill-Carlton track team this year, took home a pink octopus “duckie” as her souvenir of the 2013 Fun Days.

Other young people received prizes they won playing games in the children’s area; candy tossed by the people who walked or rode in the Fun Days parade; or simply good memories of a festival that started with a barbecue and swimming, continued with a fun run, pancake breakfast and all sorts of booth and activities, and ended with music played by Hometown Classics.

Blue and white ribbons will help Art Gonzales remember Fun Days. He won both first and third in the annual Fun Days chili-cookoff, which he also organized. The crowd and the three judges especially loved his special chili, made with jalapeño peppers and ribeye steak cooked slowly for 22 hours.

But his two ribbons aren’t the only souvenirs of Fun Days that will hang in the Gonzales household. Ricky Gonzales, his 13-year-old son, won a second place ribbon with his own chili entry.

Three chef-shaped “duckies” will help three bakers remember the new Carlton Fun Days bake-off. Carolyn Cook won her duck in the pie division with a chocolate chip pie. Carrie Bryant placed first for bar cookies and Caren Lind claimed top honors in the cake contest.

The new rubber duckie race was definitely a highlight for many who spent Saturday afternoon at the Fun Days activities in Wennerberg Park.

Dozens of families stood along the Yamhill River bank to watch the ducks swim. Youngsters of all ages had signed up to race the numbered duckies. Sarah Gonzales said she was counting on number 61. Her friend Kailin Forsman wanted 65 to win.

Children cheered as the ducks cascaded from the bridge and began swimming with the current. Some chanted to encourage their ducks; some tried to determine which duck was theirs.

As the ducks appeared around a curve in the river, city workers Lyn Carl and Bryan Burnham waited in a rowboat to fish them out as they paddled under the finish line. Carl, joking, tossed his own duck in the water just a few feet from the finish. The crowd jeered “No fair!” and laughed as he scooped up his duck and took it out of the running.

As the first official racing duck crossed the finish line, Carl caught it with a net. “Seventy-five!” he hollered, letting Teagan know she was the winner.

“Fifteen!” he called, pulling Thorsten Nordstrom’s second-place entry out of the water. “And number four!” he announced, calling Felicia Worthington’s number in third.

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