Dog days of summer: All that's missing is heat (who needs it?) from this action-packed weekend

Posted Online: Aug. 07, 2013, 9:45 am
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By John Marx,
So many choices ... where to go, what to do? Time to call on my trusty "Weekend'' quarter: heads and I'll head to the Great River Tug Fest, tails and it's Ya Maka My Weekend.

Let us not forget the International Softball Congress Men's Fastpitch Tournament kicks off this weekend and is on tap for the next 10 days as well. (Keep an eye on for game results, game times and admission information throughout the tournament.) Too bad there are only two sides to a quarter!

Heads it is.

The annual Great River Tug Fest rocks. Tug Fest is simply a series of tug-of-war scraps across the Mississippi River, taking place in downtown Port Byron and LeClaire. It's also a three-day party centered around family activities in both cities.

Though Tug Fest begins today, I -- like thousands of others -- wait until Saturday's big show to see which state is the king of all tugs. Illinois won 6-5 last year. Being a native of Illinois, I root for Port Byron despite living in Iowa.

Admission in Port Byron is free on Thursday and $3 on Friday and Saturday (but still free for ages 12 and younger). In LeClaire it is free on Thursday, $5 on Friday and Saturday (and free for ages 12 and younger), or $8 in advance for the entire weekend. For more information on activities in LeClaire, visit, and for a schedule of events in Port Byron, go to

The District goes Caribbean

Ya Maka My Weekend will begin at 5 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday in the Rock Island District Great River Plaza, 2nd Avenue and 17th Street. Experience a bit of island culture in your own backyard: The event includes Caribbean-style food, reggae music, an open-air marketplace and children's activities.

Admission is $9 per day; $14 for both days; free for ages 12 and younger. Just think of what a bargain that is compared to airfare to the islands! Call 309-788-631 for more information.

Have energy for more? Here are some other options for what is a great weekend for things to do locally.

An inspiring tribute

The American Veterans' Traveling Tribute and Traveling Wall will be available at City Park, W. Main Street and S. State Street, Geneseo. This is a must-see for all ages. Hours are noon to 8 p.m. today, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

The event features an ice cream social, speakers and music by The Old 57's today. It's followed Friday by ceremonies and food at 6:30 p.m., with music by the Illinois National Guard 144th Army Band. There will be a Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans parade at 2 p.m. Saturday, followed by a pork chop dinner. Sunday there will be food and "Celebrating the Lives on the Wall." Call 309-714-1551 or 309-945-3859 for more information.

Experience Sunshine at night

Longtime Circa 21 star Sunshine Ramsey will sing for "A Night of Sunshine," tonight at 7 p.m. at Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, 1828 3rd Ave., Rock Island. Also appearing will be Brad Hauskins, Joel Rose, Kyle Jecklen, Tristan Tapscott, Rodney Swain, Marc Ciemiewicz and Sunshine's performing arts students. Sandwiches and appetizers will be available for purchase. Tickets are $18 at the door. For more information, call 309-786-7733, ext. 2.

A true must-see musical

Quad City Music Guild will present "9 to 5: The Musical" at Prospect Park Theater, 1584 34th Ave., Moline. Yes, that "9 to 5". Based on the hit movie from the 80s, with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, the musical follows the madcap antics of three fed-up office workers as they take on their bigoted boss.

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. tonight through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $16 for adults and $11 for ages 11 and younger. For more information, visit

Everyone in the pool!

Friday, the eighth annual Doggie Dip for the Humane Society of Scott County is set for 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Fejervary Family Aquatic Center, 1800 W. 12th St., Davenport. This is a great event that not only benefits a worthy organization but gives local four-legged friends a chance to cool off. There also will be raffles, and pet owners are encouraged to bring an item from the Humane Society wish list to donate.

To participate, dog owners must have proof of current shots for their pooches. When they exit the pool, dogs also must be put on a leash. Cost is $4 per dog. Call 563-359-3475.

Before school starts, a chance to swim, bike, run

Saturday, the Hy-Vee IronKids Triathlon will be held at the Bettendorf Family YMCA, 3800 Tanglefoot Lane. Races start at 8 a.m. There are three age divisions: Junior, covering ages 6-8; intermediate, covering ages 9-11; and senior, covering ages 12-15. A complete course map and information on registration is available at

Be sure to sign up soon, if you haven't already! There is no same-day registration for the event. Sign up today and the cost is $45 ($35 for USA Triathlon members). The cost is $60 if you sign up Friday. Part of the proceeds will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

See some great action from the sidelines

The Quad Cities River Bandits will once again head out onto the diamond as they take on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers this weekend. Games start at 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday at Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. Tickets are available online or at the box office. Call 563-322-6348 for more information.

If baseball isn't quite to your liking, how about some football?The Quad City Wolfpack entertains Omaha Outlaws in a semi-pro football battle Saturday at 7 p.m. at Ericson Field, Augustana College, 520 38th St., Rock Island. Tickets are $5 or free for anyone wearing a jersey or younger than 7.

For more ideas for weekend activities, check out the calendar on

Itinerary: Aug. 8-11

American Veterans' Traveling Tribute and Traveling Wall, noon-8 p.m. Thursday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, City Park, W. Main Street and S. State Street, Geneseo. 309-714-1551, 309-945-3859

The Great River Tug Fest, 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Thursday, 4 p.m.-midnight Friday, 7 a.m-midnight Saturday, Port Byron, Ill., and 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Thursday, 3 p.m.-midnight Friday, 6:30-midnight, LeClaire, Iowa.,

A Night of Sunshine, 7 p.m. Thursday, Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, 1828 3rd Ave., Rock Island. $18. 309-786-7733, ext. 2.

"9 to 5: The Musical," 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, Prospect Park Theater, 1584 34th Ave., Moline. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. tonight-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $16; $11 for ages 11 and under.

Ya Maka My Weekend, 5 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday, Rock Island District Great River Plaza, 2nd Avenue and 17th Street. $9 per day; $14 for both days; free for ages 12 and under. 309-788-6311, 

Humane Society Doggie Dip, 6-7:30 p.m. Friday, Fejervary Family Aquatic Center, 1800 W. 12th St., Davenport. $4 per dog. 563-359-3475

Hy-Vee IronKids Triathlon, 8 a.m. Saturday, Bettendorf Family YMCA, 3800 Tanglefoot Lane. $45 registeration Thursday ($35 for USA Triathlon members), $60 Friday, no same-day registration.

Quad Cities River Bandits vs. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, 7 p.m. Saturday, 5 p.m. Sunday, Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport. $6-$14. 563-322-6348

Quad City Wolfpack vs. Omaha Outlaws, 7 p.m. Saturday, Ericson Field, Augustana College, 520 38th St., Rock Island. $5.


Local events heading

  Today is Monday, Oct. 20, the 293rd day of 2014. There are 72 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The store of Devoe and Crampton was entered and robbed of about $500 worth of gold pens and pocket cutlery last night.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Michael Malloy was named president of the Tri-City Stone Cutters Union.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Dewitte C. Poole, former Moline newspaperman serving as vice consul general for the United States government in Paris, declared in a letter to friends that the once gay Paris is a city of sadness and desolation.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Plans for the construction of an $80,000 wholesale bakery at 2011 4th Ave. were announced by Harry and Nick Coin, of Rock Island. It is to be known as the Banquet Bakery.
1964 -- 50 years ago: An application has been filed for a state permit to organize a savings and loan association in Moline, it was announced. The applicants are Ben Butterworth, A.B. Lundahl, C. Richard Evans, John Harris, George Crampton and William Getz, all of Moline, Charles Roberts, Rock Island, and Charles Johnson, of Hampton.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Indian summer is quickly disappearing as temperatures slide into the 40s and 50s this week. Last week, highs were in the 80s.

(More History)