How did the tradition of the ducks in The Peabody fountain begin? Back in the 1930's Frank Shutt, General Manager of The Peabody, and a friend, Chip Barwick, returned from a weekend hunting trip to Arkansas. The men had a little too much Tennessee sippin' whiskey, and thought it would be funny to place some of their live duck decoys (it was legal then for hunters to use live decoys) in the beautiful Peabody fountain. Three small English call ducks were selected as "guinea pigs," and the reaction was nothing short of enthusiastic. Thus began a Peabody tradition which was to become internationally famous.®
In 1940, Bellman Edward Pembroke, a former circus animal trainer, offered to help with delivering the ducks to the fountain each day and taught them the now-famous Peabody Duck March. Mr. Pembroke became Peabody Duckmaster, serving in that capacity for 50 years until his retirement in 1991.
Nearly 90 years after the inaugural march, the ducks still visit the lobby fountain from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.
Reserve the Ducky Day Family Package to experience this very special tradition at The Peabody Memphis.
The Duck March is open to the public. However, to adhere to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, it is recommended that non-hotel guests view the Duck March from above on the Mezzanine and maintain a 6-foot separation from visitors outside their own party. The ducks' Royal Duck Palace on the Peabody Rooftop is open for visitation from 11AM to 6PM daily, weather permitting.