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Rhubarb to Shakespeare celebrated

Riverfest, Summer Festival, Shakespearean Festival, Valley Daze, Milan Indian Summer Festival, Heritage Days, Colonial Days, Rhubarb Festival, Midsommar, Old Settlers' Day.

These are just some of the many festivals that keep spring, summer and fall busy in the Quad-Cities. Add to that numerous parades, fireworks displays and Christmas walks.

Many are the standard congregate-with-friends-jump-on-a-ride-and-let-the-wind-blow-through-your-hair-eat-funnelcake-and-cotton-candy-until-you-are-sick-and-go-home-really-really-late festivals. Who can turn that down?

The Riverfest dazzles the eyes with a gorgeous display of fireworks, and there's nothing like the lights of an enormous Christmas tree in a town square.

Walnut Grove, Scott County Park, and Long Grove host Heritage Days, giving visitors a taste of the Old West. Bishop Hill, Prophetstown and Andover host similar festivals to recognize early settlers.

Aledo's Rhubarb Festival celebrates the versatility of the bitter fruit, while Kewanee celebrates the town's self-proclaimed title of ``Hog Capital of the World.''

While many festivals are built around history, others, such as Viva! Cities Fiesta, celebrate the cultural diversity of the Quad-Cities area.

Erin Feis, although Irish-oriented, draws people of all cultures to the parade, step dancing and Irish food.

Then there are legs of mutton, jousting tournaments and theater at the Geneseo Shakespeare Festival. At the Rock Island Family Days, people man cardboard boats. In East Moline, they man cardboard sleds on snowy slopes at Butterworth Park.

-- By Kristen Foht (January 22, 1998)

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