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Rubber duckies race for charity

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SAT 6/11

As a preschooler the only thing that would cheer me up was splashing around in the bathtub with my beloved rubber ducky. Now the overgrown kids who run Children's Fairyland are legitimizing this time-honored activity with their annual Rubber Ducky Derby. More than 10,000 bright yellow plastic birds zoom around the channels of the theme park's waterways in an effort to be the first one picked as a winner. The competition can get fierce, as evidenced by strict rules that forbid any humans from meddling with the ersatz fowls once they take to the water. To participate in the fun, you must "adopt" a duck for $10; all proceeds go to the Children's Hospitals of Oakland. The competition begins at 4:30 p.m. at Children's Fairyland, 699 Bellevue (at Grand), Oakland. Admission is free with park entry (free-$6); call (510) 869-3770 or visit www.rubberduckyderby.org.
-- Jane Tunks

Running Late

WED 6/8

Most footraces seem to start at the crack of dawn. I've always figured this gave runners all the more reason to be smug and superior -- and as I understand it, that's half the fun of being athletic in the first place. The organizers of the DuskBuster, a 5K run and two-mile walk, have changed all that: Now you can say, "I got up, ate breakfast, went over to the park, and ran a 5K, all before 9 p.m." Registration begins at 5:30 and running at 7 p.m. at the south tunnel of the Polo Fields, MLK & 41st Avenue in Golden Gate Park, S.F. Registration is $30; visit www.duskbuster.org.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser

Big League
Cartoons go batty

ONGOING 6/8-10/30

With steroid scandals and such, it may seem like America's favorite pastime is turning into a joke. Fortunately, the Cartoon Art Museum pays tribute to a more innocent era with "Play Ball!: Historic Baseball Cartoons From 1945-1965." The exhibit is anchored by dozens of original pen-and-ink drawings done by legendary sports cartoonist Willard Mullin, dubbed the Sports Cartoonist of the Century by the National Cartoonists Society. In addition to Mullin's iconic characters the Brooklyn Bum and the St. Louis Swifty, a "murderer's row" of baseball superstars like Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, and Willie Mays also decks the walls. Collectible gewgaws such as 1970s-era bobbleheads and hand-painted baseballs are on display as well. "Play Ball!" runs through Oct. 30 at 655 Mission (at New Montgomery), S.F. Admission is free-$6; call 227-8666 or visit www.cartoonart.org.
-- Jane Tunks

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