Labor Day filled with parades

Originally Posted Online: Sept. 02, 2013, 8:59 pm
Last Updated: Sept. 03, 2013, 10:41 am
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By Tyler Langan

Rock Island and East Moline held their annual Labor Day parades on Monday, celebrating the labor movement and, in the case of children, candy and floats.

The Rock Island parade began shortly after 9:30 a.m. As the first floats and cars pulled past Washington Junior High School, kids stepped into the street to stake out a strategic position to snatch up as much candy as possible.

Steve Kulig, of Rock Island, said he tries to make it to the parade every year with his grandkids. His favorite float was the Whitey's Ice Cream truck giving out frozen treats.

"The Whitey's popsicle," Mr. Kulig said as the parade came to a close. "It's just a tradition every year."

Rock Island Slideshow:

The Whitey's Ice Cream float was popular with many people at the Rock Island parade, including Dawn Bance, of East Moline, who said it was her favorite. She said she also liked the marching bands.

"It seems like they add more and more every year, from farther and farther away," Ms. Bance said. "My kids, of course, just love the candy."

The Rock Island parade had several marching bands, including Rock Island High School, Davenport Central High School and Alleman High School.

The East Moline parade, which started at 11 a.m., had a much stronger union presence than the Rock Island parade.

Unions from nearly every type of trade were represented, from plumbers and pipefitters to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW).

The UFCW led the parade, with a union representative talking into a bullhorn, extolling Walmart to do better for its workers. The UFCW believes Walmart pays workers too little, according to the union's website, ufcw.org.

The operating engineers had a car in the parade with "rat patrol" painted on the side, referring to nonunion workers who do the jobs of on-strike union workers.

Russ Sellers and his wife, Marilyn Sellers, of East Moline, went to both parades. They said the East Moline parade had more candy."I think the kids are better off on this one," Mr. Sellers said.

Ms. Sellers said the couple went to the Rock Island parade because their nephew, Tommy Unley was on a float for winning a business of the year award for his boat service company, Unley Marine.

Nicki Gibbs came to the East Moline parade for the first time. She lives in Moline and attended because family members were in the parade throwing out candy alongside a John Deere tractor. She watched from the side with her son, Anden Wood.

Dressed in a Batman T-shirt with a cape attached, Anden charged as soon as handfuls of candy hit the ground, gathering as much as he could before another shower of sweets hit the pavement.

"I got popsicles," Anden said, smiling."Tootsie Rolls, too."


Local events heading

  Today is Monday, Sept. 22, the 265th day of 2014. There are 100 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The board of education has granted Thursday as a holiday for the children, with the expectation that parents who desire to have their children attend the Scott County Fair will do so on that day and save irregularity the rest of the week.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The guard fence around the new cement walk at the Harper House has been removed. The blocks are diamond shape, alternating in black and white.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The Rev. R.B. Williams, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Rock Island, was named superintendent of the Rock Island District.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Abnormally high temperatures and lack of rainfall in Illinois during the past week have speeded maturing of corn and soybean crops.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Installation of a new television system in St. Anthony's Hospital, which includes a closed circuit channel as well as the three regular Quad-Cities channels, has been completed and now is in operation.
1989 -- 25 years ago: When the new Moline High School was built in 1958, along with it were plans to construct a football field in the bowl near 34th Street on the campus. Wednesday afternoon, more than 30 years later, the Moline Board of Education Athletic Board sent the ball rolling toward the possible construction of that field by asking superintendent Richard Hennigan to take to the board of education a proposal to hire a consultant.

(More History)