Fun, games and ducks: River Grove Family Picnic ‘perfect,’ mayor says

A portion of the Des Plaines River took on a yellow hue Saturday as hundreds of rubber ducks filled the river to raise funds for a local group.

The river being overrun with rubber ducks wasn’t a freak of nature, but the River Grove Beautification Committee’s Ninth Annual Rubber Duck Race. The race took place July 19 and was one of the many fundraising activities that took place in conjunction with River Grove Family Picnic that day. The River Grove Lions Club had their annual Golf Ball Drop at the picnic as well.

River Grove Mayor Marilynn May said fundraising events like this – especially the duck race – is one of the reasons people come to the picnic. The River Grove Family Picnic is the village’s annual event that has food, games and live entertainment.

May said the children were especially attracted to the ducks as they floated down the river.

“That was the favorite part of the whole day,” she said.

Locals had the opportunity to buy numbered tickets that corresponded to a particular rubber duck. After dumping the rubber ducks in the river Saturday, just north of Chestnut Street the ducks float down the river to a finish line on the south side of Grand Avenue Bridge. Members of River Grove Fire Department grabbed the ducks that made it across the finish line first.

A thousand golf balls were dropped from the top of the extended ladder on an Elmwood Park fire truck as part of the River Grove Lions Club’s annual Golf Ball Drop during the picnic. Participants buy balls that are then dumped onto makeshift golf green with holes.

Balls that went into holes won a cash prize. Proceeds from the event went to help the River Grove’s Lions Club perform service projects in the area.

May said along with fundraising events there was food, games and camaraderie among those in attendance.

“It was a perfect day,” she said. “Everybody worked so hard on this, so it’s good to see it come to fruition.”

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