Those summer nights amidst Iowa’s soft breeze and humidity have been around for decades. The smell of fried food and the screams of delight from amusement rides and concert-goers have become a staple in late July and early August in the Quad Cities. It’s tradition–a one hundred year tradition–that we previewed the history of with coordinator, Vicky Speth. Through my preview, I learned that the fair has taken the spot of Iowa’s second largest fair (after the Iowa State Fair) — an incredible honor for one of our favorite Quad Cities events. Among the historical displays, the fair will return with fan-favorite and fanatic new features for the 2019 season.
All posts by Katy Williams Henderson
History and heritage are two important components of the Quad Cities. We pride ourselves in the growth and redevelopment of the beautiful community, but we never forget our roots.
It’s a history full of twists and turns and many prized contributions — one of which we will celebrate this summer. The Mississippi Valley Fair (MVF) is 100 years old this year, and we’re all ready to party during Fair Week–July 30th through August 4th.
Being gluten-intolerant is far from fun. So many things that were once a delectable treat become outlawed in your daily diet. While the amount of gluten-free items at restaurants, grocery stores and bakeries have increased, the ability to cough down $5 for an item that would usually cost $2 is difficult. It’s a struggle I faced while wedding planning. I found that most of the gluten free cupcakes and cakes I could find we’re going to cost us well over $1000. Because of that, I put my research cap on and started scouring for local places that wouldn’t break our budget. After looking through downtown, I came across a hidden shop in the West End of Davenport that sold gluten-free and vegan friendly options called, Chic Soiree.
When you travel the world, it’s no secret that people will ask you where you’re from. If you say Moline, Davenport, Rock Island, Silvis, East Moline, or Bettendorf or anything beyond the Midwest, the natural response you will get is, “Oh, is that near Chicago?” As you attempt to explain that you live nearly three hours from the city, you finally just give in and respond that it is close to Chicago. While we face these travel frustrations and own where we’re from, we can’t help but wish that a little bit of Chicago cuisine could move just a little bit closer to home. Dish-deep pizzas, Italian beef, Chicago dogs and more. But what if our wishes had finally come true? The long-awaited Portillo’s has been packed in Davenport.
Most of us have heard of Alexander Hamilton, whether it was in history class or from the very popular Broadway musical. He was a U.S. founding father and the first Secretary of the Treasury in the country. Admittedly, our current interest in him was pretty much non-existent until Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical on the historical figure became a great obsession. But while we’re singing along and watching the story play out on the stage, it’s important to differentiate the fact versus fiction portions of the show — something Miranda notes himself in his own reflections of his masterpiece. The truth in history and the passion for Hamilton’s life is coming to Moline Public Library this summer.
A new I-74 bridge has been a dream for decades. I’ve been hearing about the “new bridge” since I took my first steps. But all great engineering and design takes time and now construction has begun. With the years of expectation, it’s no wonder everyone wants more of a peek then the quick sneak preview you can take when driving across the current bridge.
What will it look like? What will it feel like when you’re on it? What is going to replace the bridge that is a integral part of the Quad Cities? So many questions that only have a true answer with the cutting-edge technology the last decade has brought us — and has created a virtual experience for us all to answer those questions about our new bridge.
Family friendliness is one of the top factors that sets the Quad Cities apart from other areas. In the last 20 years, many new store fronts, restaurants, and activities have blossomed. New families have moved to town and the number of people visiting the Quad Cities has increased.
What we do here, we do with joy and compassion, and what impresses me the most, as a teacher and as a life-long QC resident, is how many families head out to family-friendly activities that support a worthy cause. During the upcoming spring and summer seasons, there are plenty of opportunities for such fun, starting with the Sunrise Village event!
In just a few weeks, schools will be ending for the year and transitioning into summer break. During this time, many parents scurry to find ideas to keep their child engaged, interactive, excited, and avoiding excessive screen time during the summer. It’s important that anything their child does provides learning experiences and/or some sort of physical activity. We are fortunate in the Quad Cities to have multiple opportunities for individuals of all ages in every season — especially, with our local Putnam Museum and Science Center.
There are few people around the area that don’t love chocolate in some form. Whether indulging in a box of store-bought chocolates or making your way downtown to the local excellence of Lagomarcino’s, chocolate is something familiar to know and love. But when the local delicacies are available, the community will often unite together to savor every moment of the event.
On Saturday, April 6, the Quad Cities Botanical Center will house local chocolate shops and bakeries for the day. Dubbed the “Chocolate Experience,” tasty treats will grace the booths at the event along with other local vendors. Tickets must be purchased in order to secure a specific time slot in the two-hour tasting window, which runs 9AM-11PM, 12PM-2PM and 3PM-5PM. Sampling tickets may be limited to purchase at the door. The time is capped to ensure all vendors are able to give guests a “memorable chocolate experience” and have the ability to restock the supply during the off-hour.
Taking an oath and making a promise is nothing short of the definition of dedication and commitment. But what you put your energy and commitment into is the key to unlocking a sense of hope and passion. This concept is a significant part of what Special Olympics Illinois sets out to do in their journey to “unleash the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sport, every day around the world.”
A non-profit organization, the Special Olympics Illinois chapter has provided opportunities for more than 23,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and nearly 20,000 young athletes, ages 2-7, with and without intellectual disabilities since 1968. Each spring the organization hosts the Law Enforcement Torch Run and Polar Plunge in multiple areas with the intention of raising awareness and funds for the athletes and families involved in Special Olympics.