THOUSANDS of plastic ducks will take to the Thames next month, for the Lechlade Duck Race, which raises vital funds for local charities.

Having taken a break in 2018, the popular family fun event returns to Riverside Park on Bank Holiday Monday, May 6, with volunteers from RAF Brize Norton stepping in as organisers.

First held in 2014, the Lechlade Duck Race attracts spectators from across Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire and beyond, and around 6,000 people are expected to turn out for this year’s event.

Housebuilder Bloor Homes has been announced as the Gold Sponsor for 2019, and organisers are hoping that this year's duck race will be bigger than ever before.

The fundraiser will feature a wide variety of attractions, including fairground rides, a mobile farm, static helicopter, food and drink stalls, inflatables and face painting.

But the main draw is the duck race itself, which will see around 6,000 plastic ducks released onto the Thames and carried by the current to the finish line.

Spectators can sponsor a duck for £3 and the winner will receive a cash prize of £300.

As a warm-up for the main event, a fleet of bigger ducks will do battle in the corporate duck race, which will feature entries from sponsors Bloor Homes, Advantage One Security, The Riverside Pub and other entrants.

All money raised on the day will be shared between the event’s four chosen charities, the Royal Air Force Association, the Cotswold Water Park Trust, the Lechlade Memorial Hall and Lechlade Little Learners.

Sgt Jonathan Owen-Williams, project manager for the 2019 Lechlade Duck Race, said: “After taking a break last year to focus on the RAF 100 celebrations, we are really looking forward to bringing the Lechlade Duck Race back to Riverside Park in 2019.

“It is a fantastic family event which brings the whole community together and we will be putting on a much bigger range of attractions this year, including more fairground rides, more entertainment for the kids and live music for the first time.

“We’re delighted to have Bloor Homes as our Gold Sponsor for this year’s race. An event of this scale would not be possible without sponsorship so we are extremely grateful to Bloor Homes and our other sponsors for their support.”

For more information about the event, and to sponsor a duck, visit