Riverwalk Pickers

Guitars, banjos, mandolins and more, acoustic instruments of any kind make up the sound of the Naperville Riverwalk Pickers.

“We started back in 2012 when I was out here playing by myself and a guy walked by and said he was also a player so I said go get your guitar, and he did and it kind of snowballed from there,” said Russ Swanson, founder of Naperville Riverwalk Pickers

During the summer, the group of amateur musicians meets every Saturday morning around 9 o’clock at the Smykal Free Speech Pavilion, near the Dandelion Fountain in Downtown Naperville.

There are typically six to ten people jamming on any given Saturday, but at times there’s been up to 25, as anyone is welcome to join in.

“Come out and play, bring whatever, if you know four chords you’re doing okay, you can probably come along. And we can help, we can teach this is something everyone should do, if you like to play, play with people and this is a great group to play with,” said Rich Harrington, a member of the Naperville Riverwalk Pickers

The Pickers have primarily grown through word of mouth, but also utilize Craigslist, meetup.com and their Facebook page to find more players.

“I’m just happy this happens. I like playing and I like playing with people and this is a great bunch of people,” said Harrington.

While the musicians originally played solely for fun, they now have a more note-able purpose.

“A lot of people would drop money in our cases like we were buskers or street musicians, which is okay but we decided that money better be contributed to something local,” said Swanson.

Currently, any money collected supports Bike Bald, a local not for profit organization dedicated to childhood cancer awareness.


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