I love my hometown and I’m proud that the Rubber Duck is here in Pittsburgh. According to a press release, the Rubber Duck knows no frontiers; it doesn’t discriminate and doesn’t have a political connotation. The friendly, floating, four-story-high Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them.


Thousands of people line the Allegheny River as a version of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman giant “Rubber Duckie” is positioned on the river for its debut in Pittsburgh on Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

The duck has been on display in Amsterdam, Lommel (Belgium), Osaka, Sydney Harbour, Sao Paulo and Hong Kong and arrives in the U.S. for the first time for the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts. It was launched Sept. 27 at the Allegheny River during the Trust’s Cultural District Gallery Crawl. I was at work when the duck arrived. From my window in Station Square I could see it bobbing down the river. It was really fun and exciting. A huge party was held on the Sixth Street Bridge and thousands of people came to welcome the duck.

The duck makes me happy and I love when Pittsburgh has things first. I have taken several pictures of the duck but I don’t quite have the one that I want. However, I am truly enjoying the ones that my friends have posted on Facebook. So if you don’t have your own picture or you want to share yours, the Rubber Duck has its own Facebook page and has more than 44,000 likes.

The duck has not been embraced by everyone; some people seem downright mad, get over it and have some fun or at least let someone have fun. I like seeing people from all walks of life enjoying the large tubby toy. The Monday after the duck arrived everyone at work was sharing duck pictures. I met a lady from Nigeria at the WDGA dinner and she asked me to send her a duck picture via text message so she could send it to her grandchild. I am sending one to my great nephew in Detroit so he can see what is going on in Pittsburgh.

One man was heard saying, “We are living on one planet, and all the waters in the world become our global bathtub, so we are one family where we have to take care of each other in this bathtub of the Rubber Duck.”

In a coup for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Friday’s arrival marked the Rubber Duck Project’s first stop in the United States, the start of an International Festival of Firsts that will expose several new creative works to their first audiences over the next few weeks. Another Pittsburgh resident on hand for the festivities said, “You couldn’t help but stare at the duck, if nothing else but to try to continually reassure your brain that yes, in fact, there is a 40 foot rubber ducky floating in the river.”

The big yellow Rubber Duck will be in Pittsburgh until Oct. 20, moored at the Point and there are a lot of hotel specials featuring the duck, you have to ask for the “Quack Package.” No joke, I love it.

Yea Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, keep up the good work.

(Email the columnist at deb­bie­


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