TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Thursday, crowds headed to Fairbanks Park for the annual Terre Haute Parks Department fireworks celebration.

For some community members, this is a day that they consider very special.

“My wife and I, we had our first date here 17 years ago. So it’s very special for us. We come every year and we bring our family out,” said Matt Larimer, Terre Haute resident.

Food vendors and a performance by the Terre Haute Community Band were also on display at Fairbanks Park.

In addition to the fireworks, 12,000 rubber ducks were dropped into the Wabash River for a race during the second annual Wabash Valley Duck Regatta.

The winner of the race received 10,000 dollars.

The event hosted by Terre Haute Catholic Charities is designed to raise money to fight homelessness, hunger, and insecurity in the Wabash Valley.

“There’s over 37,000 individuals who are food insecure so they don’t have access to nutritious food to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. This gives us an opportunity to to really raise awareness about those issues in our community and to get together and do something about it,” said Jennifer Buell, development director of Terre Haute Catholic Charities.

In just it’s second year, the event has gained much interest from the community and Buell says she believes that is happening for a reason.

“First of all, it’s just fun to have a rubber duck regatta but secondly they recognize just where that money is going,” Buell said.

The regatta raised around 50,000 dollars for Catholic Charities.

The winner of tonight’s regatta was Pete McCarville. He is a resident of Wheaton, Illinois.