Giant 25-Foot-Tall Rubber Duck Appears in Maine Harbor, Baffling Residents

by Matthew Memrick

A huge 25-foot-tall rubber duck’s appearance in a Maine harbor has baffled residents recently.

But Belfast, Maine residents are rolling with it. With “Joy” written across its chest, the rubber duck is stuck in shallow water between a footbridge and the town landing.

Since Saturday, the duck has stayed in the harbor, and no one is claiming it.

Since the duck does not pose a hazard, Harbor Master Katherine Given told the Bangor Daily News that there’s no hurry to fish it out of the water.

Visitor Steve Small, from Pennsylvania, also said that he was pretty amused by the duck.

“It’s sort of a grateful emotion that somebody has done something a little unusual to make something a little more interesting,” Small told WCSH.

Not Our First Rodeo, Er, Rubber Duck Show

However, Maine’s rubber duck stunt doesn’t hold a loofa to one that happened in Canada recently.

According to CTV News, a 30,000-pound giant yellow duck named “Mama Duck” came to the Redpath Waterfront Festival from June 19-21, 2021. The massive inflatable duck was six stories tall.

Festival organizers said, “Mama Duck” brought in more than 750,000 visitors and $7.6 million in economic revenue. Organizers said 75 percent of attendees came just to see the duck. The rental cost was a mere $120,000, with $80,000 coming from a grant.

It did ruffles some feathers at the time, though.

“It’s an absurd waste of taxpayers’ dollars,” Canadian politician Rick Nicholls said in a Globe and Mail report after an earlier “Mama Duck” stop. “It is an absolute cluster duck.”

Another critic aimed at the plastic duck then. According to The Seattle Times, an environmentalist wasn’t too thrilled about “Mama Duck.”

“Aren’t we supposed to avoid putting plastics into our beautiful freshwater lakes?” Canadian eco website Treehugger said at the time. The website called the rental “silly and irresponsible.”

Before Toronto, “Mama Duck” made waves in the Seattle-Tacoma area in 2017. According to the duck’s owners, “Mama Duck” was to stop in Fort Worth, Texas, from Oct. 29-31. Unfortunately, the pandemic may have postponed the event.

In 2019, the wind blew “Mama Duck” over in a Tall Ships Festival visit. The NBC 26 report said that the 60-foot tall, 15-ton duck tipped over in Green Bay, Wisc. and narrowly missed hitting people standing in a tent. Organizers waited a day to pump the duck back up with air.

In 2014, a giant, 59-foot rubber duck came to southwest Guizhou Province in China. Unfortunately, the duck floated down the Nanming River and exploded. The duck’s design came from Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. 

Before 2014’s explosion, Hofman’s duck toured several cities, including Sydney, Australia; Sao Paulo, Brazil; and Baku, Azerbaijan. Hofman’s purpose was to bring people together to see it. On other occasions, it burst in a Taiwan port and deflated at a Hong Kong exhibition.