It's lights out for the Rubber Duck


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At 11 o'clock tonight, the lights went out on the aquatic attraction that has taken Pittsburgh by the heart strings and brought hundreds of thousands of visitors to Point State Park since Sept. 27 -- the giant Rubber Duck installation by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman.

Sunday night, a steady stream of people came to the park for a last selfie or group photo with the duck. There were audible groans of dismay from the crowd as security guards counted down before shutting off the lights and closing the park. Children waved good-bye to the 40-foot tall inflatable piece of artwork as their parents led them away; a few stragglers jokingly threatened to stay all night.

"I'm just going to stare at the duck until it's gone because it's so cool," said Danette Mackson, 41, of McKeesport. She brought her 5-year-old son, Terrance Coats, to the park after the devoted "Sesame Street" fan asked to see the duck. "I've never seen anything like it. I think it was great they decided to bring it to Pittsburgh."

Richard Adamson, 75, and his wife, Doris Lazenby, of Monroeville showed up after Mr. Adamson's appearance as an extra in the Pittsburgh Opera's presentation of "Aida" at the Benedum Center.

"It put the finishing touch on our night," Ms. Lazenby said.

Mr. Adamson, a self-described animal advocate who rescues greyhounds with his wife, said the duck instills a protective desire in those who view it.

"When you see it, you feel a kinship to it," he said. "I want to pet it."

Security staff at the park said the duck would remain at its mooring until Monday morning, when it would be towed down the Ohio River and deflated.

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Robert Zullo: rzullo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3909. First Published October 20, 2013 7:39 PM


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