Above / Pete Ellman, co-owner of Ellman’s Music Center, stood on the banks of the DuPage River to help start the 2016 Riverwalk Duck Race. Listen for his return at 10AM Wed., August 16, 2017.

Numbered plastic ducks share the tale of two cities and fundraising fun.

Remember when trumpeteer Pete Ellman played “First Call” to launch the 2016 Riverwalk Duck Race last Aug. 16?

Ellman said recently he’s happy to start the race again when it returns at 10AM Wed., Aug. 16, again to celebrate the can-do volunteer spirit that built the Riverwalk, a commemorative gift inspired by local citizens to recognize the city’s sesquicentennial in 1981.

Ducks to share

Thanks to a “rental” agreement with the Rotary Club of Oswego, the group that hosts an annual Father’s Day duck race on the Fox River, the Riverwalk Foundation organized its Duck Race in the DuPage River last August without purchasing its own set of 2,000 numbered plastic ducks.

The brainchild of Oswego Rotarian John Cuff who is also a member of the Riverwalk Foundation proved to be a perfect trial to repeat for 2017.  The Naperville Riverwalk Duck Race is set to run from the foot bridge near Centennial Park to the Eagle Street Bridge where the good folks at the Naperville Park District who never duck sharing their expertise again will collect the little floaters at the finish line.

All proceeds benefit the Riverwalk Foundation for education and enhancements along the winding brick path of the city’s natural treasure in the heart of the central business district.

But first… Oswego Rotary Duck Race is set for 3PM June 18, 2017

2,000 ducks begin their way down the river.

Again this Father’s Day, 2,000 pink, blue and yellow plastic ducks will be swimming in the Oswego Rotary Duck Race. The race begins at 3PM Sun., June 18, at Hudson Crossing Park, 65 N. Harrison St. in downtown Oswego.

Advance duck race tickets can be purchased at (630) 606-3967 or beginning at 1PM Sun., June 18, at the Rotary booth during PrairieFest.

The Rotary Club of Oswego Duck Race, traditionally held on Father’s Day, is part of the annual four-day Oswego PrairieFest event in June. The duck race takes place just after the parade so everyone can walk down to the Hudson Creek Park located in downtown Oswego to watch the race, organizers said.

According to Oswego Rotarian Jennifer Jones Sinnott, 2,000 plastic ducks are released into the Waubonsee Creek that feeds into the Fox River, and within 10 minutes the first duck crosses the finish line.

Take a quack for a chance to win big time in Oswego Rotary Duck Race

“We have winners for first, second and third places,” said Sinnott. “The bonus is to find out if the first-place duck matches a computer-generated number to become the lucky $10,000 duck.”

The public is welcome to join the fun for a quack on the pedestrian path by the Waubonsee Creek where spectators can watch their ducks.

Ticket prices range from single duck(s): (1-4 ducks in race) $5 each; Quack Pack: (5 ducks in race) $20;
and a Flock of Ducks: (15 ducks in race) $50. All net proceeds are donated to area charities via the Rotary
Club of Oswego.

Naperville Riverwalk Duck Race returns Wed., Aug. 16, 2017

After the Oswego Duck Race, the ducks will take another truck ride to Naperville where they will be entered into the 2nd Annual Riverwalk Duck Race at 10AM on Wed., Aug. 16, hosted by the Riverwalk Foundation and presented by First Community Financial Bank.