RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Friends and families gathered at Brown’s Island in Richmond Saturday to watch thousands of rubber ducks be dropped into the canal.

The event was the RVA Duck Race and Festival of Inclusion, a sensory-friendly festival organized by the Autism Society of Central Virginia. Proceeds from the event go to the society’s work to provide critical resources to autistic people in the region.

Nathan Barnum, who has an 18-year-old son with autism, said the festival does a lot to be inclusive and raise awareness of autism in the community.

“The nice thing about this is that the folks that we’re trying to help are part of it,” said Barnum. “The DJ today is an individual with special needs. Anyone with autism or special needs are part of your community.”

In addition to the duck race, the event also featured music, food, vendors and more.