Sizzlin' celebrations! Labor Day weekend booms with fireworks, parades and more

Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2014, 12:25 pm
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Summer may be drawing to a close, but there's still a little unfinished business to attend to before we pack away the sunscreen and break out the sweaters. Namely, the annual Red, White & Boom! fireworks celebration.

Cancelled in July due to flooding, the pyrotechnics are back on for this weekend, starting at 8:30 p.m. on Labor Day. The fireworks will be shot from a barge in the Mississippi River between Davenport and Rock Island.

Family activities will start at 6 p.m. in Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport (including a showing of the film "The Sandlot") and Schwiebert Riverfront Park in Rock Island. Both riverfronts will feature additional publicly accessible viewing areas.

"We're thrilled to give the Quad-Cities another opportunity to enjoy the largest fireworks show in the region," said Ken Croken, chairman of the Red, White & Boom Committee. "The Red, White & Boom Committee has been hard at work preparing for this, and we're excited to make Labor Day even more special for the community this year."

Coolers, food, beverages, and pets are prohibited from being brought in to Modern Woodmen Park or LeClaire Park. Food and beverages will be available for sale. In Schwiebert Riverfront Park, coolers are allowed, but no outside alcohol is permitted.

At Modern Woodmen, there will be face painting, bounce houses, balloon animals, and don't forget to ride the Ferris Wheel while you're there. At Schwiebert Park, entertainment from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. will feature many inflatables to climb, bounce, race, and slide on ($5 wristband purchase required), free balloon art by Loon E Lori, and a Discovery Kids Tent from USO of Illinois including face painting and kid's color pages to be put into care packages for the military.

At 5:45 p.m., Schwiebert Park stage activities start with Rock Island's Metro Youth Program Drill Team & Drum Corps, and Smooth Groove at 6:30 p.m., with a blend of pop, R&B, rock-n-roll and high energy dance tunes.

Pow Wow celebrates Native American heritage

The annual Labor Day Pow Wow will be held Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Black Hawk State Historic Site, 1510 46th Ave., Rock Island. The grounds will be open for the event from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. all three days. On Saturday and Sunday, dance performances will be at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m., and on Monday there will be one performance at 1 p.m.

Members of the Sauk tribe from Oklahoma and Meskwaki from Tama, Iowa will perform their traditional dances. There will be a guest performance by Kevin Locke, world-renowned hoop dancer. Larry Yazzie and the Native Pride Dancers also will make a guest appearance.

There will be arts and crafts exhibits with items for sale, and in addition, authentic Native American food will be sold. The Sauk and Meskwaki women will again be cooking what is known by them as "Rock Island Stew" over the open fire.

Free shuttle bus service will be provided from the parking lot of Roe Aquarium (4422 11th Street, Rock Island). Event organizers recommend bringing a blanket or lawn chair, as no formal seating will be available. The event is free, though donations will be gratefully accepted.

Take a trip back in time at Pioneer Village

You can both take a leisurely trip to the country and a jaunt back in time for the Labor Day celebration at the Dan Nagle Walnut Grove Pioneer Village in Long Grove, Iowa.

On Sunday and Monday, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days, period-dressed "Friends" will demonstrate crafts and sell their wares. Enjoy great food, children's games, make-it-take-it crafts, and old-time music and activities in the Saloon and Gazebo.

Walnut Grove was a Scott County settlement and stage coach stop of the 1860s. The Village includes 18 historic buildings, some relocated from rural Scott County -- including a boardwalk with an Apothecary Shop, Bison Saloon, George's Carpenter Shop, Barber Shop, Doctor/Dentist Office, and Keppy-Nagle General Store. Pioneer Village has accessible and modern restroom facilities.

Admission is $2 for adults and $1 for children.

Is it fall yet?

Put the recently sweltering temperatures behind you and get ready for fall at the 42nd annual Orion Fall Festival this weekend!

Central Park, at 4th Street and 12th Avenue, will be filled with food, music, street dances, carnival rides, arts and crafts, kids' activities, a pageant, soap box derby, a pie auction, entertainment, a car show, talent show and more from 5 p.m. Friday through 6 p.m. Sunday.

A parade will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday; its theme is "Community Pride."

Admission to the festival is free. According to the festival's Facebook page, tickets for the rides are available now at Parkside Treasure House, BankORION, Orion IGA, and the Orion Pharmacy. A strip of 10 tickets costs $16; tickets at the festival will be $2.50 each. Rides will require one ticket per ride, according to a post on the page.

The fourth annual 10-mile, 5K and fun runs will begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Orion High School, 1100 13th St. Entry fees are $35 for the 10-mile run, $30 for the 5K and $7 for the fun-run.

The festival's proceeds will go toward community improvements and individuals with medical needs.

For more information about the festival and a complete schedule, visit

Everyone loves a parade

Of course, Orion will be hosting just one of several parades in our area. If you hope to see a procession of floats, bands, and candy-tossing organizations a little closer to home, your options include:

— East Moline: The Quad City Labor Day Parade Alliance will hold its 31st Annual Labor Day Parade on Monday starting at 11 a.m. The parade route begins at John Deere Harvester Works at 1100 13th Avenue. From there it travels south on 13th Street to 15th Avenue where it turns right and heads west to 3rd Street. It then turns right again, traveling to12th avenue where it turns right to Seventh Street; then north on Seventh to Beacon Harbor, continues to Harvest Way and returns to the John Deere Harvester Works lot.

— Rock Island: "Celebrating 30 Years of Community Pride" is the theme for this annual parade, which will get underway at 9:30 a.m. Monday. The route begins at Washington Junior High School,
located at 33rd Street and 18th Avenue, and travels west along 18th Avenue, turns south at 24th Street, then west on 25th Avenue and disbands into the Rock Island High School lots.

— Milan: Held on the second day of the annual Milan Indian Summer Festival held in Dickson Park, 315 E. 4th Ave. The parade kicks off at 10:30 a.m. at Roth Pump Company, 541 W. 4th St., and will have "Milan Celebrates the Red, White & Blue" as its theme.

Finish off summer the right way

Whether before or after the parade, its worth poking around Dickson Park to take in a bit more of the festival, which includes pageants, music, plenty of carnival rides and even more food.

While Mother Nature's relentless heat gets a few more licks in, have one last summer hurrah at one (or all three!) musical performances at the festival: Cody Road will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday; Gray Wolf at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and Smooth Groove at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, visit, or call 309-787-8500.

These are just a few of the many things going on in our area this weekend. For more ideas, check out the events calendar at

The Itinerary: Aug. 29-Sept. 1

Milan Indian Summer Festival: 5 p.m.-midnight Friday; noon-midnight Saturday and Sunday, Dickson Park, 315 E. 4th Ave., Milan. Free. 309-787-8500,

Orion Fall Festival: 5 p.m. Friday- 6 p.m. Sunday, Central Park, 4th Street and 12th Avenue. Free. 309-526-8320,

Labor Day Pow Wow: 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Black Hawk State Historic Site, 1510 46th Ave., Rock Island. Free (with donations encouraged).

Pioneer Village Labor Day Celebration: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday and Monday, 18817 290th St., Long Grove. $2 adults, $1 children. 563-328-3283,

Red, White & Boom!: 6-10 p.m. Monday (with fireworks at 8:30 p.m.), Modern Woodmen Park, Davenport, and Schwiebert Riverfront Park, Rock Island. Free (concessions for sale, and $5 wristband required for children's games at Schwiebert Park).

Labor Day Parades: For a complete listing of area parades, visit


Local events heading

  Today is Tuesday, Oct. 21, the 294th day of 2014. There are 71 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: The weather is discouraging for our great Democratic rally tomorrow, but never mind that. Let our Rock Island people show they can make a big procession themselves, rain or shine.
1889 -- 125 years ago: Apparatus arrived for drilling an artesian well on the premises of George Warner's Atlantic Brewery.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The German army continued its attacks on the allies line near the Belgian coast.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The farm home of Mr. and Mrs. Gus Zachert northwest of Buffalo Prairie, burned to the ground.
1964 -- 50 years ago: WVIK-FM, noncommercial educational radio station at Augustana College, will return to the air tomorrow. The station operates at a power of 10 watts at 90.9 megacycles on the frequency modulation band. The station is operated with a staff of 92 students.
1989 -- 25 years ago: An avenue of lights, 13 Christmas trees strung with more than 44,000 sparkling lights, will expand the Festival of Trees beyond the walls of RiverCenter in downtown Davenport in mid-November.

(More History)