Back in 2016, members of the Naperville Riverwalk Foundation took a quack at hosting its first duck race to celebrate the 35th anniversary year of the city’s natural treasure. Families and friends responded by purchasing numbered plastic ducks for $5 each with a chance to win cash prizes. The grand prize was $1,981, an amount chosen to represent the year of the City’s sesquicentennial, the reason the Riverwalk was imagined for the community in the heart of downtown Naperville. Busey Bank stepped up to be presenting sponsor.

Then for the next four years just prior to the start of school, the Naperville Riverwalk Duck Race continued, presented every time by Busey Bank.

The aim of the event always has been to have some fun educating the community about the deleterious effects of feeding human snacks, especially bread crumbs, to ducks, geese and other waterfowl.

The duck race was planned mid-morning at the end of summer vacation just before school began, providing another opportunity to visit downtown Naperville for back-to-school shopping and lunch after the race.

Then in late January 2020, coronavirus arrived, ruffling everybody’s feathers with an uncertain future; and by mid-March, businesses and parks throughout Illinois were locked down. Duck race organizers joined hundreds of other event planners to wait and see before resetting the date on the summer calendar.

By June, organizers opted to bank the family-friendly fundraising event until 2021. Just as many summertime special events that raise funds for unmet needs, the Riverwalk Duck Race— known to attract hundreds of cheering fans, all gathered near the Eagle Street Bridge to watch as many as 2,000 colorful plastic ducks float from the foot bridge along the DuPage River until they crossed the finish line— was put on hold, mindful of social distancing and other safety protocols.

Picture Source: PN Photo

SOURCE ( PN Editor / Positively Naperville )