Modern Day Romeos to perform at Aug. 6 Chicago Duck Derby to benefit Special Olympics Illinois

  • Modern Day Romeos will join Splash the Duck at the new Chicago Ducky Derby Virtual Festival on Thursday, Aug. 6, to benefit Special Olympics of Illinois.

    Modern Day Romeos will join Splash the Duck at the new Chicago Ducky Derby Virtual Festival on Thursday, Aug. 6, to benefit Special Olympics of Illinois. Courtesy of Special Olympics of Illinois

Updated 7/31/2020 6:56 PM

Normally, over 60,000 rubber ducks would drop off the Wabash Bridge into the Chicago River. Instead, this year Special Olympics Illinois is going virtual!

Join Special Olympics Illinois for the 15th annual Chicago Ducky Derby Virtual Festival at at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6. Join the conversation using #ChiDuckyDerby on social media.


Ducks are still available for adoption for $5 online at until 12:45 p.m. Aug. 6.

The Virtual Festival, hosted by 103.5 KISS FM's Paulina and Rufio, features live music and appearances from The Struts, Lauren Alaina, Mark Cuevas, Katie Kadan, Chicago-based rock band Semple Band, Benny the Bull, Staley da Bear, Tommy Hawk, the Ducky Derby mascot Splash and more.

Many Special Olympics Illinois athletes will also lend their stories to the stream. The Virtual Festival will end with Special Olympics Illinois athlete and Duck Ambassador Mike McLaughlin holding up the winning duck and announcing the grand prize winner -- who will take home a new 2020 Chevy Equinox courtesy of the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Chevy Dealers.

Other prizes include $2,500 cash prize, a VIP experience at the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, and Chicago Blackhawks tickets.

Last year's event saw 63,000 ducks adopted and raised nearly $400,000 for 23,000 athletes of Special Olympics Illinois.

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The success of the annual Ducky Derby depends on sales teams -- both corporate teams & independent groups -- who devote the summer to selling duck adoptions and spreading the word about the benefits of Special Olympics.

Complementing the Chicago Ducky Derby is a world-class exhibit, Ducks on the Mag Mile, public art display celebrating the power of what people, business, and community can achieve when we promote a Unified world for Special Olympics Illinois athletes. Twenty-five duck sculptures designed by various professional Chicago artists, some of which have disabilities including El Valor, Arts of Life, Misericordia, The Chicago Lighthouse Foundation, Search Inc. and Easterseals.

Additionally, JC Rivera, creator of The Bear Champ, and Shawn Smith each brought their creative spin to the Ducks on Mag Mile.

These sculptures will be placed along the Magnificent Mile, in Streeterville, River North, and Gold Coast neighborhoods from June 26 through Sept. 27.

The Chicago Ducky Derby is presented by Gallagher. Additional sponsors include MAKE Corporation, The Sugar Factory, United Airlines, BlueCross BlueShield Association, In Search of a Cure, d'Escoto Inc., Hollister, National Association of Realtors, joybol, Geico, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, The Wrigley Building, Set Environmental, Inc., Zeller Realty Group, Wendella, Great Lakes Coca-Cola, Chicago Federation of Labor, Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Chevy Dealers, Apple Vacations, The Magnificent Mile Association, The Chicago Blackhawks, iHeart Media, 93.9 The LITE FM, 103.5 KISS FM, 1075 WGCI FM, The Chicago Sun-Times, and FOX 32 Chicago.

Special Olympics Illinois is a nonprofit sports organization offering year-round training and competition in 18 sports for more than 23,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and over 17,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. It strives to be a global leader in shaping a culture where people with and without intellectual disabilities are fully integrated into the community by providing year-round opportunities in competitive sports, health education, leadership, and personal development. If you are interested in being a part of Special Olympics Illinois and its vision, contact your local region, call (800) 394-0562 or visit

Follow Special Olympics Illinois on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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