PITTSBURG -- A pair of fundraising events are on tap to help the Pittsburg High School Marching Show Band raise money for a trip to play in the 2014 New Year's Day parade in London.

On Saturday, the Great Pittsburg Rubber Duck Race takes place at the Pittsburg Marina. And one week later, Pittsburg native Pete Escovedo will return to his hometown to give a benefit concert at Pittsburg High School.

A rubber duck race raised $20,000 as part of a fundraising effort that got the band to New York to perform in the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The goal is to raise the same amount to help the band get to London, said Tim Stone of the Pittsburg Kiwanis Club, which along with the local Rotary and Soroptimist clubs, are spearheading Saturday's duck race.

The winner will receive a 1979 white Ranchero restored by Pittsburg High students in the auto body program. Five other prizes will also be given out to the runners-up.

There will also a duck-calling contest, which Stone said could evolve into something else.

"I was just trying to come up with some stuff to take up some time between the races. (Duck calling) might morph into a quack contest between the presidents of the three service clubs," he quipped.

As of Monday, about 4,000 yellow rubber ducks had been sponsored in the race. There will be two heats before the main event, which will include six ducks (the top three from each heat) painted different colors so people can tell them apart and cheer them on.

During the duck race event, the high school band will perform, along with the Hillview, Martin Luther King Jr. and Rancho Medanos junior high bands. Ice cream and food products will be sold, along with souvenir merchandise from the high school band.

At the second event on Oct. 5, Pete Escovedo and his Latin Jazz Orchestra will headline a benefit concert, that will also feature performances by the high school band and comedian Greg Asdorian, a Pittsburg High graduate.

Escovedo also gave a benefit concert for the band's 2009 trip to New York, and last year for the band's trip to perform at the Fiesta Bowl.

The band still needs to raise $70,000 before Nov. 1 to help offset the offset the travel costs for the six-day long trip to London.

"Obviously, we are trying to raise as much money as we can," said Tony Martinez, president of the Band Boosters, a nonprofit organization made up of parents with kids in the band.

People who can't make it to the upcoming fundraising events can make a donation by going to www.pittsburgpiratesmusic.org.

Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.

RUBBER DUCK RACE
When: 1 p.m. Sept. 28
Where: Pittsburg Marina Launch Ramp
Tickets: $5 each or 5 tickets for $20
Available for purchase at www.pittsburgkiwanis.org or at Outback Steakhouse, 4350 Century Blvd., Pittsburg; State Farm Insurance, 130 E. Leland Road, Pittsburg; or Railroad Book Depot, 650 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg.
Info: Tim Stone 925-432-3145

pete escovedo concert
When: 7 p.m. Oct. 5
Where: Creative Arts Building, Pittsburg High School, 250 School St.
Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door
Advance tickets available at www.eventbrite.com, Railroad Cleaners, 2195 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg and Railroad Book Depot, 650 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg.
Info: Tony Martinez, 925-250-8455