Duck Dynasty: Mahomet

This week, Notes from the River gets in on the action from the latest breakaway hit cable reality-show phenom: Duck Dynasty: Mahomet.

Recently we had the opportunity to interview several of the show’s stars, a hirsute, tight-knit family of common, everyday folks running a highly successful local Mahomet operation. In the past few years, they have seen the fame and fortune of their Annual Sangamon River Rubber Duck Race grow to unexpected proportions.

We started by talking to Dan “Bubba” Waldinger, the brains behind the outfit.

NFTR: First of all ‘Bubba’, we’d just like to say, nice beard!

DBW: Well, I know it ain’t much more than a goatee, but in the spirit o’ the race, I’ve been lettin’ it grow out for several months now.

NFTR: So what’s it like to be the brains behind such an important and successful Duck Dynasty?

DBW: I must say, NFTR, it’s a right heady experience. The most important thing is t’ always be sure y’ stay smarter than them darn rubber ducks.

NFTR: Well, it certainly seems like you’ve got that one nailed! And by the way, we’ve heard that you’ve made the sacrifice to forego showering, shaving, or any personal hygiene whatsoever during the race. Why do you do it?

DBW: It jest really helps me get into the Sangamon River experience, and since the race lasts only about 15 minutes, I can usually manage t’ suffer through.

NFTR: Well still, we imagine it’s quite a sacrifice.

Next up is Alan “Bubba” Weith, the guy who runs the numbers for the race. ‘Bubba’ has been responsible for much of the fabulous prizes in the Annual Duck Race.

NFTR: First of all, ‘Bubba’ we’d just like to say, nice beard!

ABW: Well, it’s really more of a goatee. It was a lot longer, but I had to shave it off when a nest of honeybees moved in.

NFTR: Anyway, it looks like first prize this year will again be $500, but last year, second prize was a kayak and this year second prize is a big rock. Isn’t there some irony in that?

ABW: I ain’t sure ‘bout no irony, but it’s not just any rock, it’s a rock that the winner can pick out and git engraved down yonder at local business Mahomet Landscapes.

NFTR: So, what you’re saying is that, technically, it is just any rock, as long as it’s on the Mahomet Landscapes lot. So we hear there’ll be a whopping 25 winners this year. What’re some of your other favorite prizes?

ABW: I tell ya, there’s the $250 value photo session at Vivid Studios of Gibson City I’d be a’hopin’ to win, and so’s I can look mah best, there’s a $60 haircut and eyebrow wax from Amy Jones at the Rod Sickler salon.

NFTR: Well, we must say, ‘Bubba’ it looks like you could sure use that eyebrow wax. So how can a regular working stiff from the Village get in on a little duck race action?

ABW: Y’all can score one anytime from the Mahomet Parks and Rec website, and I’ve already been out sellin’ duck race action at the Mahomet IGA. Five bucks gets your duck in the race. And don’t spread it around, but just for you nice NFTR readers, I’ll make a special deal of four ducks for only twenty bucks.

NFTR: Wow! Thanks, Bubba!  Sounds like an awesome deal!

And speaking of Mahomet Landscapes, here’s one of Duck Dynasty’s major sponsors Matt “Bubba” Pommier:

NFTR: First of all ‘Bubba’, we’d just like to say, nice beard!

MBP: Well, it’s really more of a goatee. I had to shave it off durin’ a recent trip to Switzerland so I didn’t blend in too much with the locals.

NFTR: Anyway, what motivates you to be such a great supporter?

MBP: Well NFTR, over the years I jest come to feel like the Duck Dynasty is a part of me. And for me, it’s not just about those purdy ducks, it’s about the Sangamon River, too. Why, I’m jest crazy about ‘em both. Sometimes I feel like the race is in my own backyard.

NFTR: Well, ‘Bubba’, isn’t the Duck Race technically ‘in’ your backyard?

MBP: Aw shucks, I guess you’re right. So THAT’S why all those Mahomet folk gather up down there by the bicycle bridge every Saturday afternoon during Riverfest.

NFTR: Well, thanks again for your support. You’re great!

Next up is Bruce “Bubba” Colravy, one of the founders of the Duck Race Dynasty. Bruce’s job is to be the ‘catcher’ at the end of the race.

NFTR: First of all, ‘Bubba’ we’d just like to say, nice beard!

BBC: Well, it’s really more of a goatee. I had to cut it off when it got stuck while I was up on a ladder, checking out a bluebird nest box.

NFTR: Oooh. Sounds painful. So what’s it like having the awesome responsibility of corralling all of those ducks at the finish line?

BBC: I’ll tell you, NFTR, it’s a really tough job. Them little buggers r’darn fast, but we worked up a purty sophisticated trap that lets nary a one get away.

NFTR: So what happens after you round them all up when the race is over? A duck stew feast?

BBC: Well, we tried that back in the early days, but to be honest, the meat was a little rubbery.

NFTR: We can imagine. Any last thoughts about this year’s race?

BBC: Well, it’s just good to see the Dynasty live on and, I jest love to see those good Mahomet folks comin’ on down, sponsoring ducks and doin’ some prize winnin’ and all of it along the Sangamon River.

So there you have it, folks. The stars of the new breakaway hit “Duck Dynasty: Mahomet”. So git yourselves down to the IGA, fire up your computers, or just stop by the USRC or Mahomet Parks and Rec booth at Riverfest and get in on some Duck Dynasty action today!

To sponsor a duck online go to: and click on “Programs” and it’s the second program listed. The USRC will be selling ducks at the Mahomet IGA Sunday, August 11 from 8 to 1.

Appeared as “Notes from the River” Mahomet Citizen, August 8, 2013 by Scott Hays

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