Written By: Friday, July 7th 2017

City officials at media briefing on duck’s arrival

The World’s Largest Rubber Duck has arrived.

The six storey inflatable is ready to go for this weekend’s Waterfront Festival in Owen Sound.

The 30,000 pound duck will be towed to the inner harbour at 5pm Friday evening in time for the opening ceremonies at 6pm and will sit on the west side of the harbour near the Marine & Rail Museum throughout the weekend until Sunday at 9pm.

The duck will be inflated for the entire visit in Owen Sound unless there’s extreme weather in which case officials will be forced to deflate it.

Owner Craig Samborski from Duluth, Minnesota says it takes them anywhere from 2-4 hours to inflate using up to three inflators.

It comes in on a flat bed truck in a box the size of a garbage dumpster and with the help of a crane is unfurled and unloaded onto a platform on the water where its then inflated.

While some have complained about the cost, the significance to Canada150 and the fact that its from the States, municipal officials say its benefits far outweigh its cost.

Mayor Ian Boddy says they’re expecting it to attract thousands of people from across Grey Bruce and beyond.

He’s done media interviews from the Kitchener-Waterloo area and expects a large contingent from that area as well as Barrie and Collingwood.

Photo – Grey Bruce Explorer

The giant inflatable will visit six ports this summer.

Its first stop was Toronto where it attracted 750,000 people to the waterfront Canada Day long weekend.

From Owen Sound it heads to Sault Ste Marie July 13-15; Midland July 21-23, Amherstburg August 5-6 and Brockville August 10-13.

The duck is just one of the highlights of this weekend’s continuation of Maawanji’iding Festival Canadiana – ten days of celebrations to mark Canada150 and Owen Sound 160.

While last week’s attractions were centred at Kelso Beach Park, this weekend just about everything is centred around the west harbour.

City officials want visitors to know there is NO ON SITE PARKING except a small number of ‘accessible spots’ with permit required.

Also 1st Ave West will be closed between 11th and 12th Streets West while the stretch from 10th to 11th Streets West NORTHBOUND lanes will be for local traffic only.

14th Street West will be closed from 2nd Ave to 1st Ave West – EASTBOUND lanes for local traffic only.

2nd Ave East will be closed downtown for Hottest Street Sale Under the Sun on Saturday.

That is going to cause some traffic chaos this weekend to an already busy downtown.

But there are free shuttle buses running throughout the weekend from both ends of town.

In the east end, visitors can park at the Heritage Place Shopping Centre lot near Kelsey’s.

From the west, they can park at Foodland.

The shuttles will operate every 15 minutes from 5pm – 9 pm on Friday; every 30 minutes from 9pm – 11pm.

On Saturday the shuttles will run every 15 minutes from 11am -7pm; every 30 minutes from 7pm – 11pm.

Sunday the shuttle runs every 15 minutes from 10am – 6pm and every 30 minutes from 6pm – 9pm.

For a complete list of events and times head to celebration2017.ca