How did the tradition of the ducks in The Peabody fountain begin? Back in the 1930s Frank Schutt, 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 11am to 5pm. each day.
Reserve the Ducky Day Family Package to experience this very special tradition at The Peabody Memphis.
* Please note that, during the month of January 2024, The Peabody Grand Lobby and Lobby Bar are undergoing an extensive renovation project that includes preserving and restoring our nearly 100 year old fountain. The Duck March will continue to take place daily at 11am and 5pm. However, on some days during this time, the ducks will return to their Duck Palace inbetween marches. Guests are welcome to visit the Peabody Ducks in their rooftop Duck Palace during this time. The Lobby Bar will remain open throughout the renovation, with regular operating hours.