Above / Local businesses fit the bill in support of the Naperville Riverwalk Foundation inaugural “Creative Costume Contest,” a competition to decorate jumbo rubber duckies to help promote the can-do spirit that built the community’s “pride and joy” and why it’s important to let wildlife be wild. And if anyone is wondering how to hold a hat on a wise-quackin’ jumbo duck, simply use duck tape.
UPDATED Post with winners / Congratulations to all who participated. Remember! Same time next year.
Original Post, Aug. 8, 2018 / The 3rd Annual Riverwalk Duck Race is set to begin at 10AM Wed., Aug. 15, in downtown Naperville, presented by Busey Bank.
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 from the footbridge. The first duck to float to the finish at the Eagle Street Bridge will provide the individual with its number to win 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 in 1831.
This year’s Riverwalk Duck Race Chairman John Cuff remembers all the enthusiastic fundraising and dedicated volunteering back in the 1980s when the public/private partnership was started with the City to build the Riverwalk. Now a member of the Riverwalk Foundation, Cuff helps promote the importance of caring for the city’s pride and joy; and that all proceeds will benefit the private Riverwalk Foundation for education about protecting wildlife by not feeding ducks and geese as well as funding enhancements along the winding brick path.
“I did a little research on the bad points of feeding the ducks,” said Cuff. “One thing that stuck out to me is ducks eating bread is similar to what junk food is to us (high carb’s). Feeding wildlife creates health problems in the animals and disrupts their natural habitat.”
Cuff also noted that bookmarks with information about protecting the river and enjoying the wildlife will be distributed during the event.
Ducks for Busey Bank
With Busey Bank’s presenting sponsorship came 10 numbered ducks to enter the race with all the other plastic ducks as well as 10 jumbo ducks for the inaugural “Creative Costume Contest.”
Senior banker Mary Jane Leisten for Busey Bank had the idea to offer 10 different nonprofit businesses with a duck to vie for the cash winnings. The first three ducks to finish the race will receive cash prizes, $1981, $500 and $250 in that order.
“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 Leisten.
Leisten noted the 10 nonprofits featured by the bank this year are Naperville Responds for Veterans, 360 Youth Services, DuPage Pads, NCTV-17, Little Friends, Project HELP, Loaves & Fishes Community Services, Naperville Area Humane Society, Bridge Communities, and Brightside Theater.
Jumbo Ducky ‘Creative Costume Contest’
An added attraction for 2018 includes sponsoring jumbo rubber ducks for $100 each that will be entered into the Creative Costume Contest, a “kids’ choice” competition that will take place on race day near the Eagle Street Bridge.
Almost at the quack of dawn last Monday, decorated ducks were put all in a row for a photo shoot at Busey Bank in Naperville Plaza. Ducks represented Naperville Responds for Veterans, 360 Youth Services, DuPage Pads, NCTV-17, Little Friends, Project HELP and that Waldo for Busey Bank, hiding at the far right, of course.
On race day, at least 20 decorated ducks, depicting a theme, from the nonprofit agencies, Busey Bank, Big Frog Custom T-Shirts, Quigley’s Irish Pub, Blooming Color, The Growing Place, Gary R. Weber Associates (GRWA), Kevin McQuillan and other individuals are set to wing it for bragging rights.
Raffle tickets will be distributed to youngsters so the kids can vote for their favorite decorated jumbo duck. The duck that ends up with the most ticket votes, wins. The ducks likely will be on display near the Eagle Street Bridge, depending on the weather. Watch for signs with directions. The winner will be announced after the end of the duck race.
A few jumbo ducks are still available for $100 each. Anyone interested is welcome to contact firstname.lastname@example.org before Fri., Aug. 10.
Don’t feed the ducks! Race them!
For more info about the Riverwalk Duck Race with up to 2,000 plastic numbered duck or the Jumbo Duck Costume Contest, visit www.riverwalkduckrace.com. Ducks are available for the race online only until 11:59PM Tues., Aug. 14, 2018, or until all 2,000 numbers are sold. The race is rain or shine. And you don’t have to be present to win.