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After being canceled last year, the Williamston Red Cedar Jubilee is back for its 50th year

Williamston Red Cedar Jubilee
Posted at 10:49 AM, Aug 01, 2021

WILLIAMSTON, Mich. — Down at the Grand River Laundromat in Williamston, the washing machines are hard at work doing what they do best.

Duck Wash
The Williamston Rotary Club washed all 4,000 ducks in the washing machines at Grand River Laundromat to get ready for the annual duck race.

The Williamston Rotary Club is getting ready for the 50th annual Red Cedar Jubilee.

“This year’s theme is happy birthday because it is the Jubilee’s 50th birthday and the cities 150th birthday," said Jubilee Secretary Dan Rhines.

And there's no better way to prepare than washing ducks; 4,000 rubber ducks.

“To get them ready for the duck race next Saturday, August 7th,” said Duck Race Chair James Conroy.

Duck Wash
Community members and rotary club members came together to load the ducks into the washing machines.

There was a lot of helping hands to load the washers and almost every single one was full.

“Grand River laundry has 17 washing machines and currently 16 of them are filled,” said Grand River Laundromat Co-Owner Gabe Modert.

Patricia Murphy bought a flock of five ducks and hopes one of hers will be the first to cross the finish line for the $1,000 grand prize.

“I have a couple of boys in college and it would be great to have a little bit of money to help pay for expenses,” Murphy said.

Murphy said she's hoping for good vibes on race day.

“Good vibes into the world and of course to the ducks.”

Duck Wash
Now that al the ducks have been washed, they will be sorted by number onto a grid to make sure all 4,000 are there.

After being canceled last year, Rhines said this year's Jubilee had to include some surprises.

“We’ve got some really cool surprises that you’re really not going to want to miss, I’m not going to spoil it,” Rhines said.

Cloyce Odell
Odell said he was born and raised in Williamston and hasn't missed one Jubilee.

Community members like Cloyce Odell are excited for it to be back.

“I really enjoy all the events that go on here,” Odell said.

He loves the Jubilee so much, he's been to every single one.

“This is my 50th year," Odell said. "I’ve been here every year since they started.”

Food and Beer Tent
Other preparations include putting up the food and beer tent.

Conroy said it's been nice to see everyone excited about the Jubilee again and give back to the community.

“In the 22 years the rotary has done the duck race, we’ve returned over 450,000 dollars to the community and that’s what this is really all about,” Conroy said.

Duck Race
Ducks can be purchased up until the race including on race day next Saturday, Aug. 7.

Now that the ducks are out of their own quarantine and squeaky clean, it's just down to how lucky you're feeling.

“Maybe I’ll sleep with my ticket under my pillow,” Murphy said.

Red Cedar Jubilee Schedule
The full schedule for the Red Cedar Jubilee.

The Duck Race will take place next Saturday, Aug. 7 and ducks will be able to be purchased every day leading up to the race by contacting James Conroy, one of the Duck Race Coordinators.

Williamston Sunrise Rotary Duck Race Ducks Getting Washed
Williamston Sunrise Rotary Duck Race Ducks Getting Washed

For more information on the entire Red Cedar Jubilee, visit the Jubilee's event Facebook page.

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