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All ducky – State OKs plastic duck race at Canal Fest

The ducks will race this year at Canal Fest after all.

Action from state regulators will allow Community Missions of the Niagara Frontier to conduct its annual fundraiser later this month during the Canal Fest of the Tonawandas, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office announced Tuesday.

The Niagara Falls-based charity recently announced the abrupt cancellation of its event due to a ban on conducting any games of chance, even when they benefit a charity, on state property.

Canal Fest is held along the Erie Canal, which is state property.

The state Gaming Commission will expedite any and all approvals needed to make this year’s race happen, Cuomo’s office said in a news release.

“After discussions with the New York State Gaming Commission, we’ve determined a lawful pathway for this popular event to take place on the Erie Canal this year and in the years ahead. The commission has reached out to city officials and Community Missions to ensure the proper steps are taken so that the raffle may be legally conducted,” Cuomo said in a written statement.

Cuomo has also asked the commission to contact any other charities in similar situations that want to hold fundraisers on the canal.

The fundraising event involves the sale of pink, blue and yellow plastic ducks, which are then floated down the canal to determine prize winners.

Canal Fest runs Sunday through July 24 in the cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda.