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updated: 5/10/2014 7:48 PM

Warm weather draws hundreds to Naperville's Spring Fever Reliever

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  • Nathan Chaet, 4, of Naperville enjoys an ice cream cone during the Naperville Park District's Spring Fever Reliever. The event was held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday along the Riverwalk, near the Millennium Carillon.

       Nathan Chaet, 4, of Naperville enjoys an ice cream cone during the Naperville Park District's Spring Fever Reliever. The event was held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday along the Riverwalk, near the Millennium Carillon.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

  • Sebastian Hurtado, 8, of Naperville looks at the sun through a telescope at the Naperville Park District's Spring Fever Reliever.

       Sebastian Hurtado, 8, of Naperville looks at the sun through a telescope at the Naperville Park District's Spring Fever Reliever.
    Paul Michna | Staff Photographer

 
 

Organizers for the new Spring Fever Reliever event along Naperville's Riverwalk Saturday couldn't have asked for nicer weather.

Hundreds of families took part in the kid-friendly activities set up at the base of Rotary Hill -- all while enjoying the sun, a warm breeze and temperatures that hovered in the mid-70s.

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"We're just excited that we have a beautiful day," said Brad Wilson, director of recreation for the Naperville Park District. "It's really just an opportunity for families to be able to get outdoors and enjoy the fact that spring is finally here after a long, brutal winter."

Most of the activities for the event were located in a grassy area between the Riverwalk Eatery and the Millennium Carillon.

Long lines could be seen for three inflatables that kids could jump on and climb through, and performers at the base of the carillon could be heard singing children's songs.

Crafts and information about the park district's new nature center were available under two tents and part of the open space was dedicated to miscellaneous field games, such as soccer and Frisbee. Live entertainment such as tai chi, rock bands and a kung fu demonstration also took place throughout the day.

On one end of the field, people watched slowly moving paddle boats and kayaks while enjoying ice cream cones, free popcorn and other treats.

Rene Schultz of Naperville came to the Riverwalk with her 80-year-old mother, Wilma Johnson, who was visiting from Minnesota to celebrate Mother's Day.

To enjoy the nice weather, the two decided to take a stroll through the area. When Johnson saw the paddle boats, she said she wanted to give them a try because she had never been on one.

"I loved it," she said with a big smile. "I could have stayed out there all day. I love the water. It was wonderful."

Schultz added that they were pleasantly surprised to discover the rental of paddleboats and kayaks was half-price due to the event.

David and Esther Ro of Naperville brought their 6-month-old and 2-year-old sons to the event.

"It's a nice day, and we just wanted to check it out," Esther Ro said. "I think it's great for kids. I think they did a good job of setting it up."

While some of the activities were geared for older children, the Ro children seemed pleased to enjoy the sights and sounds from their strollers.

"It's really low-key," David Ro said. "Everyone can come out and enjoy the weather."

Aside from the activities in the field area, a bike rodeo was set up in the Centennial Beach parking lot and a dog disk championship took place on the Riverwalk Grand Pavilion.

"We tried to have a bit of something for just about every age," Wilson said, adding that he hopes the event brought awareness to upcoming activities that will be hosted by the park district.

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