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River Days: Food, Fun and Fireworks on the Riverfront

The annual event returns to Plainfield Sept. 15 and 16.

It’s time to get your ducks in a row.

Plainfield River Days will flow back into town Saturday, Sept. 15 and Sunday, Sept. 16 with some new events, including hot air balloon rides and a Saturday night fireworks show.

There will be plenty to see and do during the two-day fest, aimed at showcasing Plainfield’s riverfront and raising money and awareness for the . For a list of event sponsors, click here.

From bean bags and mud volleyball to a car show, live music and the new “Taste of Plainfield,” the event will keep guests busy.

Located along the riverfront on the west side of downtown Plainfield, River Days will kick off at 11 a.m. Saturday, closing at 11:30 p.m. Sunday hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"It's a little different than ," Epley said. "It's a family friendly event with a vast array of activities for community members of all ages."

The event will take place at Riverfront Park, 24401 W. Lockport St., at the west end of downtown Plainfield, just west of the DuPage River.

Saturday will go out with a bang

Thanks to , Plainfield residents missed out on a Fourth of July fireworks show.

But River Days revelers will get their fill of fireworks thanks to a partnership between the Riverfront Foundation and the , which will host a Saturday night fireworks show.

“We’re very appreciative of the park district’s offer of hosting the fireworks with us,” said Rob Epley, president of the Riverfront Foundation. The pyrotechnics show starts at 8:30 p.m.

Musical lineup

On Saturday, the winners of Live 59’s “Who’s Got Talent” competition will take the stage at River Days, showcasing their skills at 2 p.m.

Five Guys Named Moe will perform at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

Taste of Plainfield

For the first time, River Days will feature a “Taste of Plainfield,” with local vendors offering up their specialties.

This year’s vendors are , Annabell’s Bar-B-Q, , , , , and .

Just ducky

This year’s River Days will include not one, but three duck races, sponsored by . A “Battle of the Businesses" race, slated for 4 p.m. Sunday, is just for Plainfield business owners, while the 1 p.m. “Who’s Got Class” duck race will earn a free pizza party for one lucky Plainfield elementary school class.

The main event will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday, when 3,000 ducks will be released into the DuPage River, giving one “lucky duck” the chance to win $50,000. Guaranteed prizes are as follows:

  • First prize: $2,000
  • Second prize: $1,000
  • Third prize: $500
  • Fourth prize: $100
  • Fifth prize: $50

This year, River Days guests can buy their ducks, sign up for the bean bags tournament or reserve a hot air balloon ride with the click of a mouse.

Purchases can be made via Facebook for the following items:

  • 1 Duck - $5
  • A Flock of Ducks (15): 50
  • Quack Pack (6 ducks): $25
  • 4 Quack Packs (24 ducks): $100
  • Hot air balloon rides for Sunday, Sept. 16: $12
  • Bean bags tourney team registration: $40

Other fun stuff

Guests can enjoy tethered hot air balloon rides at 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are $15 on site, and advance tickets for Sunday are available for $12 on the River Days Facebook page.

A hot air ballon take-off, courtesy of Re/Max Professionals, is slated for 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

A classic car show is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and a tractor display is on tap for 11 a.m. Sunday.

Arts and crafts vendors will also be at the fest from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days.

A Kids Zone, sponsored by LEGOLAND, will be full of inflatable bouncies and other fun kids activities.

Children can also enjoy a kids train, petting zoo, magician and clowns.

For the more adventurous, this year’s fest offers “Freeballin’,” also known as zorbing — a sport that allows people to get inside a plastic sphere and roll downhill.

Epley compared it to a human-size hamster ball.

“You get in and they roll you downhill,” he said.

A bean bags tournament is scheduled for noon Saturday, with check-in starting at 11 a.m. The two-person team event will be a double-elimination tournament with cash prizes.

For mud volleyball fans, there will be a kids tournament for ages 10-14 at 11 a.m. and a adult tournament for ages 15 and up at 1 p.m. The tournament is sponsored by Bart Homes.

Registration for the bean bags and mud volleyball events is available on the River Days website.

Heather Varland Heavens August 20, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Great Coverage on this fest and what it has to offer this year!
Beth August 20, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Will tickets have to be bought for the inflatables & etc? If so what are the prices?

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