The Duck

Anastasia Bode Crisan, Staff Writer '15

In late September of 2013, Pittsburgh welcomed a rather unusual guest onto its rivers: a giant yellow rubber duck. With the largest one breaking a record at 85×66×105 feet, the yellow ducks have been floating down rivers of major cities around the world since 2007. Started by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, the giant duck is a symbol of happiness and childhood. Pittsburgh was the very first American city The Duck visited, and, according to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, garnered over 1 million viewers. During the opening ceremony for The Duck on September 27th, the Clemente Bridge was closed to cars and swarmed with people. Vanilla-scented miniature versions of the Duck were for sale and by the time it was time for The Duck to depart, its rubber ducklings had completely sold out.

The Duck was a part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s International Festival of Firsts, but its voyage hardly began in Pittsburgh. One particularly memorable destination for it was Taiwan, where, according to the Weather Channel, after a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, it deflated and eventually exploded. Residents were devastated and the county councilor Chan Chiang-tsun called for a 10 second silence to commemorate the Duck, according to the Taipei Times. The bright yellow bird has also ventured to Hong Kong, Amsterdam, and Sydney, just to name a few.

Needless to say, The Duck has brought smiles to millions of people’s faces, as well as a new source of Pittsburgh pride.