1. Tug Fest
The rivalry is on. Tug Fest, the three-day festival centering around a tug-of-war battle between Port Byron, Illinois, and LeClaire, Iowa, is back for its 31st year. For the past decade, the Illinois team has won the tugging contest. Will this year be different? Head out to LeClaire and Port Byron, which both host festivals Thursday-Saturday, to see the action. Festivities include a parade, live music from bands such as Moonshine Run, Rolling Thunder and the Brat Pack, carnival rides, fireworks, food and drink vendors, and, of course, the Tug at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. For more, visit tugfest.com or tugfest.org.
Thursday-Saturday, LeClaire and Port Byron riverfronts. Free
2. Ya Maka My Weekend
Downtown Rock Island will soon transform into a tropical oasis, full of reggae music, Caribbean food, drinks and arts and craft vendors, for the one-day Ya Maka My Weekend festival. Back for its 26th run, the festival features live music from bands such as Rude Punch, Yard Squad and 40oz To Freedom outside along 2nd Avenue in Rock Island. For more info, visit downtownrockisland.org.
4 p.m. Saturday, downtown Rock Island, $9
Live music from The Candymakers, a Quad-City band known for playing original songs such as "Dip You in Chocolate" as well as covers, is on tap for this week's edition of Live@Five, the free outdoor concert series hosted by the River Music Experience, 129 N. Main St., Davenport. The series runs through Sept. 29.
5 p.m. Friday, River Music Experience courtyard. Free
4. Step onto the showboat
The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre is wrapping up its season with "The 39 Steps," which kicks off Thursday and runs through Aug. 19. "The 39 Steps" is a comedic take on Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 thriller of the same name. The on-stage show includes four actors playing more than 100 roles. See it this weekend on the showboat, 303 Riverview Drive, Clinton, Iowa. Tickets cost $16 for children and students; $20 for seniors; $23 for adults. For more information and tickets, visit clintonshowboat.org or call 563-242-6760.
7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, $16-23
5. 'Rock of Ages'
A new show is opening Thursday at the Black Box Theatre, 1623 5th Ave., Moline. "Rock of Ages," a rock 'n' roll fairytale set near the end of the 1980s in Hollywood, features hits from bands such as Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi and Whitesnake. You can also catch "Rock of Ages" next weekend, Aug. 17-19. Tickets are available at theblackboxtheatre.com
7:30 pm. Thursday-Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Black Box Theatre, $16
6. MBP's season ends
Mississippi Bend Players' inaugural season ends this weekend with performances of "Brighton Beach Memoirs," Neil Simon’s semi-autobiographical play that's set in Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, New York. See the show Friday-Sunday at Augustana College's Brunner Theatre Center, 3750 7th Ave., Rock Island. For more information, visit mississippibendplayers.com.
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday, Brunner Theatre Center, $12-15
7. 'Sunset Boulevard'
Here's another last-chance alert for you. This weekend offers the final performances of "Sunset Boulevard," presented by Quad-City Music Guild. See the show, based on the 1950 movie by Billy Wilder, Thursday-Sunday at Prospect Park Auditorium, 1584 34th Ave., Moline. Tickets, $11 for children and $16 for adults, are available by calling 309-762-6610 or visiting qcmusicguild.com.
7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Prospect Park Auditorium, $11-16
8. Jam to ¡ESSO!
Looking to kick off your weekend with a dance party? ¡ESSO!, which stands for El Sonido Sonic Octopus, is a band that performs "funky Afro-Latin and roots rock inspired dance music," according to its Facebook page. The crew of musicians will take the Redstone Room stage, 129 N. Main St., Davenport, this week. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
8 p.m. Friday, Redstone Room, $10-12
The five-piece folk band, Birdtalker, fronted by husband-and-wife duo Zack and Dani Green, have been making music in Nashville, Tennessee, since 2013. Last month, the group set out on its first full tour around the country — and it includes a stop here. See Birdtalker, with The Rocketboys, on Saturday at the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel, 304 E. 3rd St., Davenport. Tickets are available at raccoonmotel.com.
7 p.m. Saturday, Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel, $12