Somebody in the office loves me! Mary brought me a chocolate bar from The Peabody in Memphis, and it even has a picture of the ducks on it!
Have you heard of the Peabody Ducks? They are the cutest tradition in the South! (Well, that’s a personal opinion, but I haven’t found anyone who disagrees yet!) In the 1930’s, the General Manager bought back live decoy ducks from his hunting trip and let them play in the fountain. It was an instant hit! In 1940, a bellman volunteered to take care of the ducks, and was given the title of Duckmaster. He was a former circus animal trainer, and taught the ducks to march into the hotel lobby. He continued in the position until 1991.
The Peabody Duck March begins every day at 11am, the ducks walk from their penthouse on the roof to the lobby (via the elevator!). The King Cotton March is played and a red carpet is rolled out to the hotel fountain. The ducks play for the day in the fountain until 5pm, when its time for them to go back up to the penthouse. Their penthouse is a 24×12 foot enclosure featuring granite flooring, ceiling fans, a large viewing window if you want to see inside, and has a fountain decorated with a pair of bronze ducks. They went all out a few years ago to remodel the rooftop penthouse, because the ducks are such celebrities and so important to the hotel’s personality.
Want to visit the Peabody? Several of our Mississippi River cruises visit Memphis. You could stay an extra night in Memphis at the Peabody, or just plan a stop to see the Duck March at either 11am or 5pm. Such a treat!