New Quack City: giant rubber duck headed for Duluth

The World's Largest Rubber Duck will float under Duluth's Aerial Lift Bridge for the Tall Ships Duluth festival Aug. 18-21, 2016.

The World’s Largest Rubber Duck will float under Duluth’s Aerial Lift Bridge for the Tall Ships Duluth festival Aug. 18-21, 2016.

Tall Ships Duluth 2016 will be held Aug. 18-21 in the International Port of Duluth, Minnesota.

Real, fully-functional wooden masted sailing ships that replicate historical vessels will dock at Duluth for tours, rides and historical interpretation. These are always huge events, drawing hundreds of thousands to Duluth at arguably the most beautiful time of year in Northern Minnesota.

This year Duluth is the only Lake Superior stop on the always touring Tall Ships calendar. This event tours all over the world, visiting port cities up and down port cities of both coasts of the United States and beyond.

But this year there’s a twist. A big, yellow one.

The World’s Largest Rubber Duck — exactly as described — will also “sail” its way into the harbor, providing what might be one of the strangest photo ops in the modern history of the Zenith City.

You will note that correctly predicted the arrival of the giant duck in a 2014 post. Back then, organizers were trying to be coy with a “big surprise.” In that piece, I predicted the following:

Specifically, it’s a giant, rubber duck that has appeared as an attraction in port cities around the world. There are updated versions of this duck (kind of like Iron Man), which is important because the duck in Taiwan exploded before it was repaired and sent to Nanming Province in China only to be washed away by floods.

I’m sure nothing bad will happen to the duck in Duluth. That said, the quacker’s appearance seems likely to exacerbate the “Duck, Duck, Goose” vs. “Duck, Duck, Grey Duck” divide. Nevertheless, I hope to acquire one of the first pictures ever taken of an ore ship loaded with Iron Range taconite alongside a giant, rubber duck.

Who says there’s nothing new in this world? Every year is filled with delightful surprises and untold machinations of fate.



  1. Victoria Cox says

    This is a case study on how to take a classy, cool event and make it tacky.

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