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7 Things You Need to Know About the Giant Rubber Duck

Are you quackin’ up in anticipation of this floating art installation? Read this primer.

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Video by Dave Cole for Pittsburgh Magazine


After months of hype and quacking puns, “The Rubber Duck Project” will finally make its splashing debut tomorrow night. So you’ll be fully prepared for all the bright, yellow goings-on, we’ve thrown together a Rubber Duck FAQ.

So, when does the Duck show up?
Tomorrow evening. More specifically: the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts will host a Rubber Duck Bridge Party to welcome the giant waterfowl starting at 5:30 p.m. The Roberto Clemente Bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic and packed with the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership’s Night Market, as well as DJ Scottro from 96.1 KISS spinning tunes appropriate for a giant rubber duck, whatever those might be. The Duck is scheduled to “begin its appearance” around 6 p.m.

Where will the Duck go?
Details are being kept under wraps — the Duck is at an “undisclosed location” as we type this — but he’ll start around the West End Bridge, circle the Point and float to the Clemente Bridge for the party. After tomorrow, he’ll move to a mooring spot in the Allegheny near the Point.

And just how big is this Duck?
Pretty darn big. Forty feet tall and three stories wide. Other incarnations of The Rubber Duck Project have been larger, but ours had to be sized for under-bridge clearance. It’s a treacherous city in which to be a giant duck, after all. Lots of obstacles.

How long will the Duck be around?
“At least three weeks,” according to the Cultural Trust. Through Oct. 20 at the earliest. So if you can’t attend The Rubber Duck Bridge Party, you’ll have plenty of chances to come see him.

Doesn’t that mean the Duck will be around for the Pirates playoffs?
Yes; if any playoff games are played at PNC Park, they will be played with a giant duck in the immediate vicinity. We’re not sure if this confers any postseason advantage, but we can at least say that the Pirates are the only playoff-bound team with a giant rubber duck near their home field. (After all, this is the first U.S. appearance of "The Rubber Duck Project.")

May we go inside the Duck?
No, sorry. Even though the interior of the Duck is a “yellow temple of joy,” according to its creator, artist Florentijn Hofman, safety concerns and general Duck sustainability issues mean that we may only gaze at the Duck.

Can I buy a smaller Duck of my own?
Oh yeah.


#Deals: ‘I’ll have the Mother Quacker’


Make it a themed weekend by purchasing a Lucky Duck or Quack Package from one of the downtown hotels and enjoying food from one of the many restaurants that are playing into the fun as well.

Nine on Nine is offering a “Mother Quacker” cocktail, NOLA on the Square will be featuring a BBQ duck special (and hosting a duck cornhole game and duck-pond ring toss), and Grandview Bakery & Sweet Shop and Priory Fine Pastries are selling rubber duck-themed baked goods.

Six Penn Kitchen, Habitat, Seviche and Sonoma are also offering duck-themed items on the menu, and Wok & Grill at Fifth Avenue Place will give you a free eggroll (with duck sauce, of course) when you tell them you’re “feeling ducky.”

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