Picture perfect: Much to see and experience this weekend

Posted Online: March 06, 2013, 9:58 am
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Sarah J. Gardner, sjgardner@qconline.com
Last weekend, while the cold winds blew, I was cozy inside the greenhouse attached to the conservatory at Davenport's Vander Veer Park. There I happily sorted through the packets of seeds my gardening partner and I have ordered through the dark days of winter, and together she and I discussed the veggies and blooms we hope to bring into being in the months ahead.

We even managed to get a few seeds planted--peppers and pansies, mostly--as we soaked in the warmth of the greenhouse and the wonderful smell of green things growing. Even though it will be months yet before we can transfer anything to our garden, there's something so encouraging about getting started even as the snow continues to fall. Every seed we planted felt like a promise that warmer days were on their way.

As part of the Weekend Propigator's Club, a program sponsored by Davenport Parks and Recreation, we get to poke around in the greenhouse each weekend from now to mid-April. You can bet I'll be there again this weekend doing more of the same.

There are a few other happenings in and around the Quad Cities this weekend that have caught my eye, though. If I find time, I just might peel off my gardening gloves and join in.

A playful look at the '80's
She had me at Pee Wee Herman. This Friday, Rozz Tox will host an opening reception for Davenport artist Rachel Friemel, whose exhibition of works, "Extravagent Rubbish," will be on display at the coffee house through the end of March. The artwork includes images of '80s icons--including, yes, Pee Wee--rendered in bright colors and infused with an unmistakable sense of play.

"With these prints I am recreating the pop culture aspect of my childhood with images and objects that shaped who I am today," writes Ms. Friemel in her artist's statement for the show. "While creating these prints, my carefree, goofy, 6-year-old self came out of the shadows while my 30-year-old self sat in the corner and watched catalytically, trying not to think of how we were going to pay bills or the state of the American economy."

Who couldn't use an infusion of goofiness as winter soldiers on? The reception lasts from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the coffee house, located at 2108 3rd Ave., Rock Island. Later that evening, Rozz Tox will host the Orlando, Fla., folk band Day Joy, which is touring the country on their way to the famed South by Southwest festival in Austin, Tex. Day Joy takes the stage at 9 p.m. and the cover is only $5. Between the art and the music, this has all the makings for a great Friday night.

What's more fabulous than a tutu?
If you're looking for an upmarket Friday night, Ballet Quad Cities will be hosting "Tutu Fabulous," a fundraising event from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Hotel Blackhawk, 200 E. 3rd St., Davenport.

This event has everything: a short dance performance, a fashion show, a silent auction--and, of course, tasty hors d'oeuvres, cheeses, wines and spirits. Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door, and all proceeds will go toward bully prevention programs.

The event may be called "Tutu Fabulous," but don't worry if your tutu is off at the cleaners--the ballerinas will cover the dancing. All you have to do is enjoy the wine and entertainment. For more information, call 563-322-5000.

Two free events for nature lovers
Saturday brings two excellent opportunities for those living in the Quad-Cities to revel in the wonders of nature, whether indoors or out.

The first is a bird-watching trip up the Mississippi River hosted by the Quad City Audobon society. You can bundle up and tag along for free. Cold weather be what it may, now is a great time of year to spot birds up in trees before the leaf cover comes back.

The group will meet at Brothers Restaurant in Rapids City, Ill., at 7 a.m. and travel all the way up to Thomson, Ill. For more information, call 309-799-7192.

If staying indoors this weekend is more your speed--but you still want to get your nature fix--why not think about heading up to the Mississippi River Eco-Tourism Center in Clinton, Iowa? There, the Clinton County Conservation Board will be sponsoring a wildlife photography workshop from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.

Whether you are a beginner or advanced photographer, the workshop will have something that's sure to better your practice. Topics include, among others, "From Good to Great," lead by Stan Bousson, a freelance photographer whose work has appeared in National Geographic, and "The Grass Isn't Always Greener" by photographic book author Julie Malake.

There is no cost to attend the workshop, but event organizers ask that you reserve a spot in advance by calling 563-847-7202. The Mississippi River Eco-Tourism Center is located in the Rock Creek Marina, 4 miles southwest of Camanche off of Highway 67.

Birds of a different feather
Shift gears Sunday and get a wholly different sort of bird watching in--watch the Mallards go up against the Bloomington Blaze. The game starts at 4 p.m. at the i wireless Center, 1201 River Drive, Moline. Tickets range in price from $7 to $25, depending on your age and where you sit.

Afterwards, you'll want to have your skates with you. Why? It's Family Skate Day, sponsored by Genesis Health System, which means spectators can join the Mallards out on the ice once the game is over.

It's things like that that make me love living in a small city with a minor league team--imagine being able to skate with the Chicago Blackhawks after a game. It couldn't happen. But here in the Quad-Cities, it's just one more part of a great weekend.

Extravagent Rubbish Opening, 5-7 p.m. Friday, Rozz Tox, 2108 3rd Ave., Rock Island. Free. rozztox.com

Day Joy, 9 p.m. Friday, Rozz Tox, 2108 Ave., Rock Island. $5. rozztox.com

Tutu Fabulous, 6-9 p.m. Friday, Hotel Blackhawk, 200 E. 3rd St., Davenport. $40 in advance, $45 at the door. 563-322-5000, balletquadcities.com

Bird Watching along the Mississippi, 7 a.m. Saturday, starting at Brothers Restaurant, 1718 2nd Ave., Rapids City, Ill. Free. 309-799-7192

Wildlife Photography Workshop, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Mississippi River Eco-Tourism Center, 3942 291st St, Camanche, Iowa. Free. 563-847-7202

The Quad City Mallards vs. the Bloomington Blaze, 4 p.m. Sunday, i wireless Center, 1201 River Drive, Moline. $7-$25. 800-745-3000, myqcmallards.com


Local events heading

  Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2014. There are 256 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Miss McCorkindale has opened millinery rooms over Gimbel's dry goods store, where she offers a choice lot of millinery goods, which she will manufacture to order.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The little South Park Presbyterian chapel celebrated it first Easter decorated with flowers for an afternoon worship service attended by a large congregation.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Wennerberg Chorus of Augustana College has returned from a 2,000-mile tour in the Eastern states and Illinois.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Col. Charles Lindbergh has stated that he is convinced that Germany's air force is equal to the combined sky fleets of her potential European foes.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Small gas motors may be permitted on boats in the lake to be built in Loud Thunder Forest Preserve. The prospect was discussed yesterday at a meeting of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission.
1989 -- 25 years ago: The annual Dispatch/Rock Island Argus Spelling Bee continues to be a family tradition. Ed Lee, an eighth-grader at John Deere Junior High School, Moline, is the 1989 spelling bee champion from among 49 top spellers in Rock Island, Henry and Mercer counties. He advances to the competition in Washington, D.C. Runnerup was Ed's sister, Susan.

(More History)