LELAND — Deer Creek will soon be making a splash when more than 50 ducks take to the water for Leland’s annual Deer Creek Duck Launch.
This year’s duck launch is set for 3 p.m. Father’s Day, Sunday, June 20, at South Deer Creek Drive West and Sycamore Street.
All the ducks — 51 to be exact — are Pekin.
After arriving to the Mississippi Delta as small ducklings, they have been under the care of event organizer Kenner Patton.
“They came from Missouri and were hatched on April 20. I received them two days later through USPS,” Patton said. “I care for the ducks at my shop south of Leland, just off Old Highway 61. I check on them two times a day to be sure they have plenty of water and feed. The ducks are almost fully feathered at this point, but not ‘quacking’ yet, but it won’t be long.”
Those interested in watching the ducks go into the water are welcome to attend at no cost.
All attendees will receive a free duck sticker.
Children will also be given the opportunity to help shepherd the ducks to the creek.
“And, if any of them are interested in petting the ducks before the launch, I can make that happen, too. Kids petting ducks make great photo ops for parents and grands,” Patton said.
The Leland Rotary Club has sponsored the duck launch this year, and Patton said the Leland Chamber of Commerce is thankful for their support.
Adoptions are still available for $7 per duck. Those who sponsor a duck will also be able to name it.
To adopt a duck, mail a check to: Leland Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 67, Leland MS 38756.
For more information, contact the LCOC at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-379-3764.
Duck launch history
The duck launch was started in 2012 as a way to do something about the decreasing duck population in Deer Creek that locals enjoyed admiring for many years.
In 2012, Richard Taylor of Farmer’s Feed and Supply purchased four large stationary duck-feeders to be placed along Leland’s Deer Creek in hopes the food would help keep the ducks local.
With 2018 being the only exception, folks in Leland have held a duck launch nearly every year since to continue repopulating the ducks.
Natural predators, such as foxes and turtles, cause the duck population to decrease some each year, but another problem are the locals hitting the ducks as they drive along the creek.
While driving along Deer Creek, motorists are encouraged to keep a mindful watch for the ducks because they, too, sometimes like to cross the road.