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posted: 5/7/2014 9:10 AM

Mother's Day eve offers 'quite a bit to do' in Naperville

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  • Rain or shine, flowers will be for sale at the Naperville Community Gardeners annual plant sale from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the garden plots on West Street, near Martin Avenue. The plant sale is one of several events going on in or near downtown Naperville throughout Saturday.

      Rain or shine, flowers will be for sale at the Naperville Community Gardeners annual plant sale from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the garden plots on West Street, near Martin Avenue. The plant sale is one of several events going on in or near downtown Naperville throughout Saturday.
    Daily Herald file photo

  • The Dog Disc Championships sponsored by Windy City K-9 Club is just one of several outdoor activities on Saturday in or near downtown Naperville.

       The Dog Disc Championships sponsored by Windy City K-9 Club is just one of several outdoor activities on Saturday in or near downtown Naperville.
    Daniel White dwhite@dailyherald.com

  • Paddleboats and single kayaks both will rent for half-price Saturday during the Naperville Park District's Spring Fever Reliever event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. along the Riverwalk.

      Paddleboats and single kayaks both will rent for half-price Saturday during the Naperville Park District's Spring Fever Reliever event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. along the Riverwalk.
    Courtesy of Naperville Park District

 
 

Naperville Park District spokeswoman Sameera Luthman says "there's going to be quite a bit to do" Saturday around the downtown Riverwalk.

She might be understating it.

The park district is hosting a new event called Spring Fever Reliever, the childhood cancer research nonprofit Bike Bald is hosting a Bike Rodeo, Naperville Jaycees are conducting the annual lobster sale, Naperville Community Gardeners are hosting the annual plant sale and Windy City K-9 Disc Club is hosting a competition for new and experienced participants.

On the eve of Mother's Day, these events combine to offer a "something for everyone" Saturday and the best part, Luthman says, is it's all outside.

The park district's Spring Fever Reliever, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. along the Riverwalk, was created to reacquaint residents with outdoor offerings that might have been forgotten under deep piles of snow.

"It's an opportunity to encourage people to come outside," Luthman said. "Winter is finally over, we think, let's get outside and experience everything we have to offer."

Live music, tours of the Millennium Carillon at 443 Aurora Ave., children's entertainment, interactive demonstrations of Zumba, Tai Chi and Kung Fu, a performance by Elan Dance Company and popcorn from the Riverwalk Eatery all will be free on the south side of the Riverwalk during the four-hour event.

Outdoor enthusiasts can rent paddleboats or single kayaks for half-price at Paddleboat Quarry. Paddleboat rental will be $4 for a 20-minute ride and $5 for 40 minutes, while kayak rental, available for the first time Saturday, will cost $7 for 30 minutes.

Naperville Kayak owner Troy Cooper said his company will have 12 "very beginner-friendly" single kayaks available for rental and basic instructions will be given to everyone who takes one out for a spin. He recommends wearing sunscreen and dressing for the weather as splashes happen and water can drip down the paddles.

Luthman said the park district is encouraging Spring Fever Reliever attendees also to check out the Bike Rodeo benefiting the Naperville nonprofit Bike Bald, which supports childhood cancer research.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Centennial Beach parking lot at 500 W. Jackson Ave., Bike Bald will provide a free safety bike obstacle course for kids, free bike checkups, a vendor market and live music. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., police officers, firefighters, teachers and community members will compete on a timed bicycle agility course.

Bicycles and lobsters have very little, if anything, in common, but on Saturday, they'll be sharing a space as pickup for the Naperville Jaycees' annual Lobster Day also will take place in the Centennial Beach parking lot. Jaycees will set up the line on the west side of the parking lot behind Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873, where roughly 750 lobsters flown in that morning from the East Coast are expected to be sold to area families planning Mother's Day feasts.

"Mothers tend to not get everything they want the rest of the year," Jaycees member Karen Coleman said. "So when it comes to Mother's Day, doing something a little different and special for moms, specifically that gets the whole family together, is a lot of fun."

Pickup for lobsters ordered by Monday runs noon to 6 p.m. Club members also will dole out free cooking tips and sell fresh flowering plants donated by Phillip's Flowers.

Another place to get last-minute flowers is the Naperville Community Gardeners' plant sale from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the garden plots on West Street, near Martin Avenue.

Unusual plants grown in the gardens of club members will be for sale from $1 to $40, along with native grasses, day lilies, hanging flower baskets and more from a local greenhouse.

"We've done this traditionally right before Mother's Day and we have flower baskets, vegetables, all kinds of plants," said Mark Mayszak, the club's president.

Plants will be for sale rain or shine.

If the pooch is antsy for some outdoor time, the Windy City K-9 Disc Club's Dog Disc Championships has novice, intermediate and open divisions for all ages of pets and people. The disc-catching competition will take place near the warming house on the Riverwalk just west of Centennial Beach.

"It will be a nice, fun party," Luthman said.

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