East West Riverfest: Two Weekends of Quad Cities Fun | Two Weekends, 300+ Activities, 60 Venues!

River excursions on the Mississippi take you past downtown Davenport and other scenic sights in the Quad Cities.

East West Riverfest is a new ten-day celebration of arts and culture held over two weekends at dozens of locations on both sides of the Mississippi River in the Quad Cities, September 7-16, 2012.

You can choose from at least 15 events every day and over 25 on the weekends.  Best of all, many of the events are free! Among the activities are river excursions, live music, plays, comedy and improv, art, dance, guided history tours, and culinary experiences. The fun-filled roster of festivals includes the Beaux Arts Fair, Quad City Symphony Orchestra’s Riverfront Pops Concert, and Viva Quad Cities.  Major festivals the following weekend include the Celtic Festival and Highland Games, Riverssance Festival of Fine Art, and WQPT’s Brew Ha Ha.

East West Riverfest Kick-Off Event
On Friday, September 7th, the public is invited to the free kick-off party for East West Riverfest from 5:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the Mississippi Hall at the RiverCenter, 136 E. 3rd Street in Davenport, Iowa.  Musical entertainment begins at 5 p.m. with the Celtic Games, and continues with the Ellis Kell Band at 5:30 p.m., and Bob Dorr & the Blue Band at 7 p.m.  www.riverctr.com

The entire event guide can be viewed online at www.eastwestriverfest.com

Some of the new events include:
Enjoy a little time travel back to the days of the old west at the Wild Wild Wild West Weekend at the Buffalo Bill Museum, 199 N. Cody Road in LeClaire, Iowa.  On Friday, September 7 from 5-8 p.m., enjoy Moonshine on the Mississippi during LeClaire’s monthly First Friday event.  On Saturday, September 8 from 11 a.m.-7 p.m., enjoy FREE activities such as the wild west show, square dancing, children’s games, food, music, and costume contest.  563-289-5580 or www.buffalobillmuseumleclaire.com

The free QCA Heritage Tractor Parade and Show features all brands/colors 1970 and older and family friendly activities. It is Saturday, September 8 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the John Deere Pavilion, 1400 River Drive in Moline, Ill.  The heritage tractor parade will begin at 10:00 a.m. 309-765-1000 or www.johndeereattractions.com

Spend an evening with the Vikings on Sunday, September 9 starting at 5:30 p.m. at St. John Vianney Church, 4097 18th Street in Bettendorf, Iowa.  Enjoy Lapskaus (Viking stew), Viking sagas (stories), and music entertainment by the Psalmodikon Players.  Tickets needed.  563-355-7778

The home of chiropractic pioneers BJ and Mabel Palmer, 1000 Brady Street in Davenport, Iowa, is open special for one-hour tours on September 7-9 and 14-16 at 1 and 4 p.m.  Placed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is a wonderful example of the collecting mania that gripped world travelers of that era.

The Antoine LeClaire House, 630 E. 7th Street in Davenport, Iowa, is open for tours on Saturday, September 8 and 15.  Admission is free.

Why is Francis Dickens buried in Moline? Family history comes alive in this story of the 1886 visit to Moline by Francis Dickens, son of famous author Charles Dickens. The program will be presented by Betty Hagberg on Tuesday, September 11 at 6:30 p.m. at Butterworth Center, 1105 8th Street in Moline, Ill.

On Sunday, September 9 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, September 15 at 11 a.m., observe and identify the Quad City birds at the feeders, learn about what bird seed to use, and make a pine cone bird feeder to take home. Meet at Singing Bird Center, 15th St at Blackhawk Rd (IL Rte 5) in Rock Island, Ill. www.blackhawkpark.org 

All aboard!  Kids of all ages are invited to roll on down to the Quad City Botanical Center for an afternoon on Sunday, September 9 from 1-4 p.m. dedicated to riding the rails!  Little conductors will be able to participate in train games and activities, meet interesting railroad characters, hear locomotive stories, view the Botanical Center’s garden sized railroad, and enjoy dining car snacks.   Each child 2-12 years will receive a train whistle and bandanna to remember the day.  Admission is $10.00 for children (2-12 yrs.); adults: general admission.  www.qcgardens.com

davenport, davenport riverfront

The Figge Art Museum at night.

The Figge Art Museum, 225 W. 2nd Street in Davenport, Iowa, offers free admission on Saturday, September 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with various activities, crafts, refreshments, robotic demonstrations, and guided tours of their NASA | ART: 50 Years of Exploration exhibit.  www.figgeartmuseum.org

Some of the special concerts include:
The Mississippi Valley Blues Society presents blues guitarist/singer/songwriter Debbie Davies at The Muddy Waters, 1708 State Street, Bettendorf, on Friday, Sept. 7.  The show will start at 9 p.m. with doors opening at 7 p.m.  Admission is $15. Coupons for $5 off the cost of admission will be available at the East West Riverfest Kick-off held from 5 until 9 p.m. at the RiverCenter.

Hairball, the ultimate 80s rock impersonation act, creates a party atmosphere at 8 p.m. the RiverCenter, 136 E. 3rd Street, Davenport, Iowa.  $25 day of admission.  www.riverctr.com

Enjoy Music on Mississippi with the Josh Duffee Orchestra on Monday, September 10 from 6-7 p.m. on the Ben Butterworth Parkway in Moline.  Free.

With deep roots in the music of Scotland and Ireland, CRAICMORE performs on Sunday, September 16 at 4 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 1702 Iowa Street, Davenport, Iowa. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students.  www.quadcityarts.com

The Big River Brass Band performs on Sunday, September 16, at 2 p.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church, 1809 Mississippi Blvd., Bettendorf, Iowa.  Free admission.

Creekside Vineyards Winery, 7505 120th Ave. in Coal Valley, Ill., has live music and wine tasting each Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.  www.creekvineyards.com

The Davenport Public Library is offering a series of events focusing on the histories and mysteries of Davenport – ghost stories, cemetery tours, story times, and more. www.davenportlibrary.com

The Bettendorf Public Library takes on pie-baking on September 10 with author and American Gothic House pie baker Beth Howard.  www.bettendorflibrary.com

Mark Twain one-man show, Sept. 15 at 2:30 p.m. at the Moline Public Library, Moline, Ill.

The Rock Island Public Library hosts an exhibit of works by Quad City area visual artists celebrating the river.  www.rockislandlibrary.org

Next to Normal, Sept. 7-8, The District Theatre, Rock Island, Ill.
You Can’t Take It with You, Sept. 7-9, Galvin Fine Arts Center, St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa
Shakespeare’s Two Gentlemen of Verona, Sept. 13, Prenzie Players, Midwest Writing Center, Davenport, Iowa
The Dixie Swim Club, Sept. 7-9, 12, 14-16, Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse, Rock Island, Ill.
Grimm Fairy Tales by Brian “Fox” Ellis, Sept. 9, German American Heritage Center, Davenport, Iowa

Look at East West Riverfest program with all of the events listed is available.  The entire event guide can be viewed online at www.eastwestriverfest.com, or use the searchable online calendar to find events by date, city, or category.