The Duck March at Memphis’ historic Peabody Hotel
Years ago, as a kid, I visited Memphis’ historic hotel, The Peabody. I was fascinated by its twice daily Duck March.
So when I was planning a road trip with my younger son, I decided to make a stop in Memphis, Tennessee with a stay at the Peabody, and a chance to see the Duck March.
As it is, “The Duckmaster” himself checked us in to the hotel, and gave my son the background on this fun tradition.
Apparently, in the 1930s, duck hunters didn’t use decoys, but live ducks to attract the ducks they would hunt. Following a hunting outing, they were drinking ( a lot) in the The Peabody bar, and let their ducks swim around its fountain – attracting a crowd.
A former circus animal trainer became the first Duckmaster of the hotel – training the ducks to travel each day from their “Duck palace” on the rooftop of The Peabody and down the elevators to the lobby, where they march from the elevators, across the elegant lobby and into the fountain, where they happily swim for their adoring fans.
Or, as my son pointed out, more than a march, it’s more of a sprint/waddle once they catch sight of that fountain.
As an avid swimmer myself, I can’t say I blame them…
I’m really glad we could stop off at The Peabody and enjoy this tradition together.
Next time you’re in Memphis, be sure to make time for the Duck March.
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