Above / Some playful wise-quacking punnery attracted PN’s camera while putting all the ducks in a row. The big N stands for the Naperville Riverwalk Duck Race, rain or shine, Aug. 15. As for the big chunk of cheddar cheese with a variety of quackers…

Quacks a lot for the votes!

UPDATE, Aug. 17, 2018 / Winning numbers in the Riverwalk Duck Race, presented by Busey Bank, were #1979 (First Place, $1981, Greg Mulvey); #167 (2nd Place, $500, Dick Galitz); #643 (Third Place, $250, Rebecca Luginbill).

Ten Lucky Ducks ($35 each) were #508 Susan Stachewicz, Bolingbrook; #1618 Lynn Boland, Naperville; #1018 Arleen Bankemper, Naperville; #173 Gina Marrano, Lisle; #1235 Jackie Boyd, Naperville; #1967 Angela Wilkins, Naperville; #1281 Robert Kolosky, Lisle; #1796 Julie Bridge, Aurora; #848 Lee Fry, Westmont; and #1277 Robert Kolosky, Lisle.

Winner of the Jumbo Duck Race for bragging rights was MACLYN.

Winner of the People’s Choice in the Jumbo Duck “Creative Costume Contest” were First Place Naperville Responds for Veterans, Second Place Little Friends and Third Place Loaves & Fishes Community Services.

Watch for the return of the Riverwalk Duck Race same time next year.

Jumbo Duck MACLYN led the flock of big and little toy ducks, first to reach the end of the race in the DuPage River at the Eagle Street Bridge.

Spectators lined the banks of the DuPage River to watch nearly 1,900 toy ducks float toward the Eagle Street Bridge. At least one youngster figured out that winning was “a bunch of just plain duck luck.”

Original Post, July 28, 2018 / You have to get up at the quack of dawn to keep up with all the happenings along the Naperville Riverwalk.

For instance, Busey Bank, located in Naperville Plaza, is the presenting sponsor of the 3rd Annual Riverwalk Duck Race slated to begin at 10AM Wed., Aug. 15, just one of dozens of special events planned annually along the brick path that follows the DuPage River in the heart of downtown.

Immediately after trumpeteer Pete Ellman plays the call for the race, up to 2,000 numbered plastic ducks will be tossed into the DuPage River for a chance to be first to cross the finish at the Eagle Street Bridge, providing the person with its number a grand prize of $1,981.

Why $1,981? That’s the year the Riverwalk was dedicated to commemorate the first 150 years of Naperville, a community established by Captain Joseph Naper along the DuPage River back in 1831.

This year’s Riverwalk Duck Race Chairman John Cuff remembers all the enthusiastic fundraising and dedicated volunteering back in the 1980s.  Now a member of the Riverwalk Foundation, Cuff knows the importance of caring for the city’s pride and joy; and that all proceeds will benefit the private Riverwalk Foundation for education and enhancements along the winding brick path.

Disguised as Waldo, this Busey Bank Duck is one the over-sized ducks decked out for a special “Best Creative Costume Contest” in the 2018 Riverwalk Duck Race set for Aug. 15, rain or shine. Find Busey Bank’s entry promoting the shop locally campaign at its location in Naperville Plaza, Washington at Gartner, not far from Oswald’s Pharmacy and Casey’s Foods.

Busey Bank helps raise awareness for nonprofit organizations

With the Busey Bank’s generous support came 10 numbered ducks for the race and the bank’s idea to present 10 different nonprofits with a duck to vie for the cash winnings.

“If one of our ducks wins, everyone wins. And, just as we planned last year, we’ll split the prize winnings, if any, among them,” said senior banker Mary Jane Leisten for Busey Bank.

Leisten said the 10 nonprofits are expected to join her with other spectators at the race to cheer for their ducks as they begin their float from the footbridge near Centennial Beach to the Eagle Street Bridge.


Creative Costume Contest for over-sized rubber ducks

An added attraction for 2018 includes sponsoring larger ducks for $100 each. Dress them up for a Creative Costume Contest, a popularity contest that will take place on race day near the Eagle Street Bridge.

Already decorated ducks from more than ten nonprofit agencies, Busey Bank and other businesses are set to vie for a chance to be the best and first in this new feature of the duck race.

Nobody at PN editor’s house guessed the ducks in the “N” formation were supposed to represent cheese and quackers.

Thanks for taking a quack at the Riverwalk Duck Race

The Riverwalk Foundation appreciates everyone for taking a quack at the Riverwalk Duck Race in support of the community’s natural treasure.

Duck numbers are still available for the quick race. Both previous years, the race to the finish at the Eagle Street Bridge took about 10 minutes.

A huge net will stretch across the DuPage near the Eagle Street Bridge to capture the plastic ducks (all rented from the Rotary Club of Oswego) for reuse next year.

Also, a friendly Big Frog, representing sponsor Big Frog Custom T-Shirts & More, will jump to join spectators along the DuPage River bank.


Don’t feed the ducks! Purchase numbers to race them…

More than a fundraiser, this event is designed to heighten awareness about the community spirit put forth by volunteers to create a nature treasure for future generations in downtown Naperville. And nearly 37 years later, the duck race also comes with an important environmental message, “Don’t feed the ducks! Race them.”

For everything you need to know about “adopting” a numbered duck for the race, visit www.riverwalkduckrace.com. Purchase a five-buck duck, a flock of five ducks, a family of 25 ducks for $100. Or order one of the over-sized ducks for $100 to participate in the Creative Costume Contest by Sun., Aug. 12, while the supply lasts.

Note: Duck number sales are available only online. You don’t have to be present to win. Thanks to everybody who already has entered the race!

Riverwalk for all seasons, all sorts of worthy causes

From the Jaycees Last Fling (Aug. 31 – Sept. 3, 2018) to the Riverwalk Fine Art Fair (Sept. 15 & 16, 2018) to the Judd-A-Thon (Sept. 16, 2018) to all the other outdoor fundraising events that find a home along the Riverwalk, it doesn’t take long to tally millions of dollars raised for worthy causes since the first serpentine bricks were place by local volunteers in 1981.

As the centerpiece for community events, concerts, walks and peaceful reflection just steps from shopping and dining in downtown Naperville, the Riverwalk is a natural treasure from the Jefferson Street Bridge to the Hillside Road Bridge.

Thanks to all who care and support the Riverwalk. Stroll the Riverwalk and celebrate the dedication of the Riverwalk every year on Labor Day.


Folks line up all along the low walkway to watch the plastic ducks swim to the Eagle Street Bridge.

Let wildlife be wild by finding food in nature. Thanks.

VIDEO QUACKS / In 2016, NCTV17 created a little video production for the good sports at First Community Financial Bank! Watch “Gaffer the Duck” featured at www.riverwalkduckrace.com.

Find the 2017 sequel at Riverwalk-Duck-Race-Training.

For more information about the Naperville Riverwalk Foundation, visit www.napervilleriverwalkfoundation.org.