Not everyone ready to say goodbye to giant rubber duck

Published On: Oct 17 2013 06:43:13 AM HST

The giant 40-foot-tall rubber duck that has been a mainstay at the Point in recent weeks is slated to leave the city this weekend, but not everyone is ready to see it go just yet.

Twittsburgh has started a petition on  to keep the duck in Pittsburgh. The campaign was nearing 1,000 signatures on Wednesday night. The topic is also gaining momentum on Twitter under #keeptheduck.

Typically, it's the fountain that draws the most visitors to Point State Park. But for the past several weeks it has been that giant duck grabbing the most attention.

"We came here just for the duck," tourist Georgia Kirkby said Wednesday evening.
"I've been following the duck for over a year, so as soon as I found out it was driving distance away, I was so down to come," Ashley Kirkby said.

We may never know exactly how much money this art project alone has brought to Pittsburgh. But consider: the duck is the only reason the Kirkby family has driven here -- all the way from Canada. And no doubt, businesses love them.

"We're staying here for two nights, we're paying to come out and drink some beer, we're going to bars and eating food," Ashley Kirkby said.

But forget about economic impact. The "Twittsburgh" petition to keep the duck here cites a whole flock of other reasons -- "Civic Pride" and "smiles galore" among them.

Many at the Point Wednesday night were seeing the artwork for the very first time.
"I've seen it a few times crossing the bridge, and I didn't know it'd be this big," said Gabe Fosdick.

And you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't want to sign this new petition.
"I'm all for it, keep it here as long as possible, it's stimulating the economy and giving the kids something to do," said PJ Fosdick.

The duck is set to leave the river Sunday. It is the creation of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. Different versions have appeared in Hong Kong, Sydney, Sao Paulo and Amsterdam, but Pittsburgh's duck is the first in the U.S. 


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