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  • Writer's pictureJulie Little

Occoquan’s Annual Duck Splash Changes Dates To Coincide With RiverFest

March 31, 2024 - Occoquan, VA

This year, the Town of Occoquan's 16th annual Duck Splash will be held on Sunday, June 2nd. Traditionally, this charity event occurs the second week of August. The change was made so that Duck Splash now coincides with RiverFest, the town's enormously popular craft show.


Duck Splash is a fundraiser to support one of Occoquan's local non-profits, Patriots for Disabled Divers (PFDD). Participants purchase event tickets, each linked to a numbered rubber duck. At the event's start, the rubber ducks are dropped into the Occoquan River and race each other toward the finish line. Prizes are awarded for the first ten ducks to cross the finish, with a first-place prize of $500. Afterward, volunteers on kayaks collect every duck to ensure no plastic remains in the river.


An Occoquan-based entity for over a decade, PFDD brings the therapeutic benefits of scuba diving to injured veterans nationwide. This 501(c)3 non-profit has trained over 1,000 veterans to scuba dive, with many participants heralding its innovative program as lifesaving. The funds raised by Duck Splash form a significant contribution to the organization’s mission.


When asked about the reason for the date change, Visit Occoquan President Merial Currer said, "By pairing Duck Splash with one of our most highly attended events, we hope to expand our contribution to PFDD. In the past, Duck Splash has raised about $3,000 annually for PFDD. This year, we are hoping to raise $7,500. That's only 1,500 tickets, and that'll be enough to change the lives of more than seven injured veterans."


Each year, over 10,000 people attend Occoquan's RiverFest. This annual show celebrates the river from which Occoquan derives its name. It features a wide array of attractions, including over 250 artisans from all over the country, a popular beer and wine garden, live music in the park, and the always-popular Whatever Floats Your Boat Parade. A section of the event, called Conservation Alley, focuses on family-friendly activities to teach children how conservation affects our waterways.


RiverFest ( is June 1 - 2, 2024, from 10 am to 5 pm. Park in the commuter lot at Old Bridge and 123 to catch the shuttle bus into town. Duck Splash tickets are $5 and can be purchased online at or in town at Hitchcock Paper Co. (125 Mill Street) or Patriot Diving (305 Mill Street).

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