Bantam Jeep Festival to partner with ‘Duck Duck Jeep’ for annual Duck Dash
One of Butler County’s biggest summer events is teaming up “Duck Duck Jeep” for the second annual Duck Dash at the 2022 Bantam Jeep Festival.
What started as a way to share kindness at a time of crisis and grew into a global movement is becoming a part of Butler County’s annual Jeep festivities, which this year runs from June 10 to 12.
In 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Duck Duck Jeep Founder and Kindness Curator, Allison Parliament, was denied entry to Canada, despite her dual citizenship.
She decided that kindness was needed.
After spying a Jeep while shopping, she decided to attach a note to a rubber duck and place it on the vehicle. The Jeep owner smiled, prompting Allison to post a picture and description of what she did on social media that trended with #duckduckjeep. Thus, the “Duck Duck Jeep” movement began.
Once Parliament’s post went viral, people around the world began placing ducks on Jeeps and sharing their posts. To date, over 50 countries have experienced “ducking Jeeps.”
“The ducks were purchased to hide around the house for loved ones, who, when they were leaving, were sad, so (I) hid things for them to find and bring a little bit of happiness, and ducks seemed perfect,” Parliament said.
She also grew up around Jeeps, as her uncle restored them, seemingly bringing her “Duck Duck Jeep” trend full circle.
With Jeeps being ducked across the globe, it seemed like a natural fit to have “Duck Duck Jeep” become part of the annual Bantam Jeep event, according to festival director Patti Jo Lambert. She and a few of her event coordinators came up with the idea of a Duck Dash.
“Rubber duck races are popular at events, great fundraisers and people really enjoy them, and we thought maybe we could try something like that incorporating ‘Duck Duck Trend,’” Lambert said.
The challenge was finding a way to hold such a race without flooding streets in Butler with fire hydrants and having them float down the street.
“Through brainstorming, a cohort said why not try a Slip ’N Slide, and it worked,” Lambert said.
On a hill by the Cooper’s Lake Campground’s parking lot, a Slip ’N Slide set the scene for 1,000 ducks floating down to create the Duck Dash.
About a week before last year’s Duck Dash original race, Lambert decided to do a trial race with the ducks to ensure that the Slip ’N Slide would work.
It did, but following the test run, a friend suggested she fill her hot tub with 1,000 rubber ducks. Later, her son and a friend wanted to join in the fun, and got some pictures with all the ducks in the hot tub.
By the evening, the ducks were full of water.
Lambert and her family spent hours trying to empty them, with her phone blowing up all the while.
“It was a week before the Jeep event, and, as you may imagine, I get lots of calls and texts and emails,” she said. “Trying to explain the ridiculousness of my situation seemed odd, to say the least, but in the end, I guess at a time of stress, it was a stress reliever.”
This year, the Duck Dash is set for 6 p.m. Saturday at the campground. The event coincides with a weekend full of activities.
Lambert estimates that 1,500 ducks will participate this year, and can be purchased for $5 apiece. The proceeds from the purchases of the ducks for the race will benefit the Butler Outdoor Club.
In addition to autographing ducks after the race, Parliament will be at her booth on Sunday at the festival.
She has a full summer of events, including the Toledo Jeep Fest, Canadian Jeep Show, Smokey Mountain Invasion and other events like driving across Canada and back.
One simple act of kindness has certainly struck a chord with not only Jeep owners, but with anyone who wants to share a little kindness and happiness.