graphicThe Downtown Rock Island Arts & Entertainment District, better known as The District, hosts many festivals throughout the year. The summer kicks off in May with Hornucopia, a music festival featuring all kinds of music with horns, and the Quad Cities Criterium bicycle and in-line skating races on Memorial Day. June brings Gumbo Ya Ya-Mardi Gras in The District, featuring Cajun and zydeco music, New Orleans style food, street performers, Barkus dog parade, and crawfish eating contest. Also in June is Ride the River, a bicycle tour of the paths along the Mississippi. Summerfest in July provides carnival rides, food for all tastes and live regional bands. August features Ya Maka My Weekend, with reggae music, Caribbean wares and fares, Jamaican food, children’s village, pirate costume contest and sand volleyball tournament.

During Labor Day weekend, America’s largest go-kart street race, the Rock Island Grand Prix, provides fast-paced professional go-kart races, a charity race with local celebrities, food booths, and family activities. The event is culminated with an exciting Labor Day Parade.

In September, Rock Island’s historic Chippiannock cemetery at 2901 12 St, sponsors Epitaphs Brought to Life, a historic walking tour through the cemetery where actors portray interesting and well known people buried in the cemetery. Erin Feis, an Irish fold festival with food, games and music, is also in September.

Laser lights streak the sky during Halloween with Fright Nights. As you can see, there is always something going on in downtown Rock Island. For more information, call The District (309) 788-6311 or visit the web site at

The Star of Bethlehem program at Augustana College Planetarium, held each holiday season, describes what the fabled Wise Men may have seen in the heavens 2,000 years ago as they journeyed to the birthplace of Christ. The nation’s only bi-state St. Patrick’s Day parade begins in Rock Island and crosses the Mississippi into Davenport, Iowa and features dozens of bands, floats and costumed Irish families.

Tour more than 30 art galleries in downtown Rock Island with Gallery Hop, offered four times a year. Chat with artists and experience the creation of art first hand with this wonderful and unique event.

Many of our local businesses, such as the Quad City Botanical Center, the QC Expo Center and downtown businesses, host special events ranging from outdoor concerts on the Great River Plaza, Bald Eagle Days, Harvest Festival, and organized garden and home tours, just to name a few. Visit the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau web site at or call (800) 788-7800.


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