Each race comes with a different theme. Participants play along by dressing up … or by dressing down when the theme is Pajama night.

Officiating the race is a committee of ethically questionable volunteers who tell captains what race they're in and roughly where they're going. With 50 to 80 boats on the water, some of the staggered starts can get a little close.

Once the race starts, it's time to hold on and enjoy the ride.

The mood on the water may be relaxed, but that doesn't stop some boats from taking the race seriously.

What's the coveted prize for placing in the top three in each class? A sticker of a duck. First place gets a gold duck, and second place gets a silver duck. Once all the ducks are awarded, the boats keep the party going into the night by tying up to form a flotilla of fun.

Even though Don, a Duck Dodge participant, didn’t get a sticker, he considers any night on the water with friends to a victory.

"I think we got fourth for the evening,” he said. “Not bad considering we had a ton of people. It was a good night."

And it’s a night that's sure to bring these boaters back to this Seattle summer tradition.

Evening is your guide to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Watch it weeknights at 7:30 on KING 5 TV or streaming live on KING5.com. Connect with Evening via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or email: eveningtips@king5.com.