DECATUR, Ill (WCIA) — This month, new executive director for the Children’s Museum of Illinois Rikki Parker will host the annual Duck Derby.

She is excited to be off to the races with all of the rubber ducks now crowding her office.

“Our office is full of them,” says Parker, who has served in the position since July 5. “Everywhere you turn, there’s a duck. Big ones, little ones, multi-colored ones. All over!”

With a $3,000 grand prize, almost 5,000 numbered rubber ducks will be at the event. They will all race in multiple heats throughout the day down a kid-friendly, water-propelled recirculation system racetrack reusing water race to race from Mueller Water Products.

“The entire event revolves around the racetrack,” says Parker. “Bringing the water experts at Mueller on board means the race experience itself will be better than ever.”

Parker said she is excited to be a part of her first big event in her new role.

“The Children’s Museum of Illinois is a wonderful and joyful place to work and I’m thrilled to be here,” Parker said. “It’s clear to me that kids are our most powerful advocates for change. What I hope to do at the Museum is ignite passions in our visitors – whether for our first responders, nature, construction, or agriculture – that lead them to become changemakers in our communities.”

The Duck Derby will be held September 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The museum’s general admission will be a dollar off for all guests 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Anyone can also purchase rubber ducks for the races starting at $10 a piece.

Aside from the races, the event will also feature food trucks, a collection of big service trucks to explore, animal pals from Scovill Zoo, games, activities and more.

“I’m delighted to be here and for this event,” Parker said. “The museum already feels like home.”