By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – As Hudson celebrates its 150th anniversary, families, runners and lucky ducks flocked June 11 to South Street and nearby downtown locations. There, the Assabet Valley Chamber of Commerce marked its 30th annual Hudson Community Fest.
Festivities began with the Highland City Striders welcoming over 280 participants in the Spirit of Hudson 5K Road Race and 1.5-Mile Walk to benefit the Hudson-Concord Elks #959 Scholarship Fund. Finishing first overall was Austin Turner of Marlborough in 16:55. First-place female was Ilana Casady of Hopkinton in 19:59. Afterward, children ages 2 to 6 ran the approximately 26.2-yard Mighty Mite Marathon.
Live entertainment was performed by 12 acts at the Cellucci Park gazebo and Avidia Stage. Children got the chance to get close-up looks at live animals as well as fire and police vehicles. Appetites were satisfied by a varied food court with local favorites such as Horseshoe Pub & Restaurant and New City Microcreamery. The capacity 120 vendors included the Community Advocate staff offering free newspaper subscriptions. Festival guests got a sneak peek at the new Hudson branch of Marlborough Savings Bank with a free photo booth for the day. Over 35 nonprofit organizations shared information about community service projects.
In conjunction with the town’s sesquicentennial, a Civil War encampment was displayed by the 4th Regiment Irish Brigade of the 28th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. St. Mary’s Credit Union helped children create 150th birthday hats and offered free cupcakes. Members of the Hudson 150 steering committee sold mementos including cookbooks and T-shirts.
Concurrently, the Hudson Rotary Club held its 26th annual Lucky Duck Race to support its scholarship fund and community projects. About 3,200 numbered rubber ducks were dumped from the Washington Street Bridge into the Assabet River. Ducks floated to the finish line at the Broad Street Bridge. Ticket buyers of the five fastest-moving ducks won cash prizes: Michelle LaPointe, $1,500; Audra Rogers, $1,000; Louis Garcia, $500; Chris Green, $150; and Nick Burton, $50.
A corporate duck competition gives businesses the option to donate and decorate a 15-inch decoy or race it in the river. Decorated winners were: Giggi’s Bridal and Mr. G’s Tuxedos, best dressed; Sullivan Optometry, most unique; Serendipity, most comical; and Mullahy’s, judges choice. Racing winners were: McDonald’s, first; Community Advocate, second; and Ferjulian’s Farm Stand, third. Each winner received a gift card for a local eatery.
This year’s festival was sponsored by Avidia Bank and the Hudson Rotary Club with support from over 20 local businesses.
Photos/Ed Karvoski Jr.