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It's a love affair with the river

Dispatch/Argus Photo By Gary Krambeck

Large cabin cruisers and powerboats line up along Bikini Beach to play in the sand and the water. Recreational opportunities on the river rank high among most-loved things about the Quad-Cities.

The tight circle of Quad-City river rats will tell you the beauty of their home is in the water. Or above the water, or next to the water.

The Mississippi River ranks high on the list of most-loved things about the Quad-Cities. It's seemingly endless recreational offerings and natural beauty produce a deep kinship in many of those who share its community.

While hundreds of Quad-Citians make their homes on the banks of the mighty river, others travel to its shores for a large handful of recreational reasons. Others come simply to get a glimpse of the rushing waters.

If the boat population at Quad-City area marinas doesn't convince you of the love affair Quad-Citians have with the Mississippi, a summer drive over any local bridge will quickly tell the tale.

Literally dozens of summer-scene happenings in the Quad-Cities revolve directly around the river. From Sunset Marine's Boat Regatta to Moline's RiverFest to the Lighted Boat Parade, Quad-Citians love their river.

The proof is in the thousands of houseboats, flat-bottom fishing boats, sailboats and jet skis breaking the waters of the Mississippi on any sunny summer day.

Or the dozens of volunteers who have invested countless hours bringing back Sylvan Slough. For proof, look to the thousands who turn out each year for River Tug on either side of the Mississsippi or the year-round bustle along Moline's Ben Butterworth Parkway.

Speaking of year-round river action, fishermen can be seen spotting the winter landscape with ice augers as bald eagles search the river for open water and fish from the air.

Hunting and fishing along the plentiful banks draw people from beyond the Quad-Cities to dip their lines into the Mississippi or set their duck blind on its shores.

Also drawing outsiders are the three casino riverboats that offer gamblers a unique view of the only place on earth where the Mississippi River takes its westward turn.

-- By Barb Ickes (February 9, 1998)

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