Giant 40-Foot Rubber Duck Invades Pittsburgh

As a native Pittsburgher, I can tell you there's always something going on to bring a smile to your face, whether it's Steelers football, surprisingly good food, or my mom's award-winning food show (shameless plug).

But Friday is an extra-special day, because the Three Rivers are getting an unexpected visitor: a gigantic rubber duckie.


The duck in Hong Kong.

And yes, there is a live stream of the duck, because we live stream everything now:


"The duck brings joy. Pure, refreshing, childlike joy. The duck may not be in my awesome city, but it's a lot closer now than when it was in Asia!" says Christina Wong, a San Francisco attorney who saw Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck Project in Hong Kong and encouraged him to bring it to California with a Facebook page. San Francisco lost its bid, but Wong was happy that it came stateside regardless. 

The duck is in town to celebrate the launch of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Pittsburgh International Festival Of Firsts, which starts Friday and runs through October 26. Beginning from a "super top secret location," the duckie will be towed from the West End across the Ohio and Allegheny Rivers. It's 40 feet tall, 30 feet wide, and after Friday's tour will be protected by a 20-foot perimeter with security guards and video cameras at its mooring on the Point until October 20 — so no, you can not jump in to have a swim with it.

Explains the artist: "I've been working on this project for 12 years now ... that we are living on one planet, and all the waters of the world become a global bathtub. It joins people together and makes people happy."


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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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