It hit me last weekend: There’s a lot to do here.
After a morning walk around the Freight House Farmers Market and a trip to the Aledo Rhubarb Fest, it seemed like there were a half-dozen quality options for my Saturday night. I had heard about friends going to the gala at the Figge Art Museum and a free performance of “Ballet Under the Stars” from Ballet Quad-Cities at Lincoln Park.
I was torn.
I had already made plans to see Lissie, a Rock Island native, perform during her annual Laura’s Legacy Concert at the Schwiebert Riverfront Park, so I made my way there. She sang about the Mississippi River and near the end, when she played her hit cover, “Pursuit of Happiness,” a group of people of all ages made their way up near the stage to dance.
It felt like the day -- for me -- that officially started a season of “I’m torn” weekends.
Looking at the calendar for the next few months, there is so much going on around the Quad-Cities. And, although it’s impossible, I don’t want to miss any of it.
That’s where this list comes in. Read on for a guide to your summer -- featuring 40 events to check out now through September around the Quad-Cities (and beyond).
1. Live@ Five concert series
Mark your calendar for free music every Friday outside the River Music Experience, or RME, 129 N. Main St., Davenport, through Sept. 29. This Friday marks a special edition of Live@Five as the RME celebrates its 13th anniversary with tunes from Nikki Hill, Jenny Lynn Stacy and the Ellis Kell Winter Blues All Stars. Upcoming Live@ Five shows include Soul Storm, Rude Punch, Lewis Knudsen Band and The Candymakers. For the full lineup, visit rivermusicexperience.org.
2. Rock Island Artists Market
Sunday kicks off the second season of the Rock Island Artists' Market, in which area artists, makers and growers offer a variety of locally-made goods. Check out the market, also featuring live music, from noon-4 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of Skeleton Key Art and Antiques, 520 18th Street, Rock Island. Upcoming monthly markets are scheduled for July 9, Aug. 13, Sept. 10 and Oct. 8.
3. Gumbo Ya Ya
You might forget it’s not Mardi Gras this weekend. Gumbo Ya Ya, the annual sampling of New Orleans culture, is set to start at 4 p.m. Saturday in downtown Rock Island. Experience Cajun, Zydeco, and Jazz bands, including Quad-City based The Backwater Bayou Band, plus Cajun food and more. For more information, visit downtownrockisland.org.
4 p.m. Saturday, downtown Rock Island, $9
4. Q-C museum week
Quad-Cities Museum week returns from June 17-25 at area museums. This year, along with special activities, exhibits and promotions offered, each museum, such as the Buffalo Bill Museum in LeClaire, Davenport’s Putnam Museum & Science Center, Figge Art Museum and German American Heritage Center as well as the Rock Island Arsenal Museum in Rock Island, will follow the “QC Spotlight” theme. The venues will showcase people, items, inventions, products and historical events that spotlight about the Quad Cities. For more information, visit qcmuseumweek.com.
5. Ride the River
The annual Ride the River event, a bistate tour of the Quad-Cities celebrating Father’s Day, returns for its 33rd year from 7 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 18. To register, $20, and for more info, visit riveraction.org/RideTheRiver. Registered participants can pick up ride packets from 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, June 17 at the Quad City Times, 500 E. 3rd St., Davenport.
6. MWC’s writers conference
Luis Alberto Urrea, a poet, novelist and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction, will give a free keynote address at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 22 at the Figge Art Museum, 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport. The event kicks off the Midwest Writing Center's David R. Collins Writers' Conference, which offers various writing workshops at St. Ambrose University on June 22-24. You can register for one workshop for $75 or the full conference for $220. For more info, visit mwcqc.org.
7. Chicano Batman
Daytrotter, the venue in downtown Davenport, has a busy summer in the works. Check out a show from Chicano Batman, a four-piece band based in Los Angeles that mixes soul, folk, tropicalia, rock and oldies flavors, with opener The Golden Fleece, at 8 p.m. Friday, June 30 at Daytrotter, 324 Brady St., Davenport. Tickets, $12 in advance and $15 at the door. For more info, visit daytrotter.com.
8. QC Junetopia
Billed as a community-strengthening event, QC Junetopia returns for its third year with three days of music, comedy and other artists performing at venues such as Rozz-Tox, the Figge Art Museum, the Village Theatre, Laborspace and Rooster’s on June 16-18. Musicians include Jack Lion, Condor and Jaybird and Sister Wife. Proceeds will benefit the Humility of Mary Shelter, Humility of Mary Housing, Kings Harvest Ministries, and the Kings Harvest Pet Rescue No-Kill Shelter. A one-day pass costs $13 and a three-day pass costs $25. For more info, visit qcjunetopia.com.
9. The Muddy Fest
The inaugural Muddy Fest, bringing lovers of motorcycles and music together, is set for June 16-18 at Centennial Park, 315 S Marquette St., Davenport. The fest features concerts from Sublime with Rome and Robby Krieger of The Doors. In addition, actors Billy Baldwin and Mark Boone are set to lead motorcycle rides through the Quad-Cities. Single day passes cost $39.95 and a two-day pass costs $74.99. For more info and tickets, visit muddyfest.com.
10. Tim & Faith
Country music power couple Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are bringing their “Soul2Soul Tour” to the iWireless Center. See the pair, along with opener High Valley, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 17 at the arena, 1201 River Drive, Moline. Tickets, $25-119.50, are available at the iWireless Center Box Office, online at Ticketmaster.com and by calling 1-800-745-3000.
11. Genesius Guild
Classic theater, presented by the Genesius Guild, returns to town June 10-11 and 17-18 with three operas, featuring selections from Menotti. Other performances include Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” on June 24-25 and July 1-2, Euripides’ “The Trojan Women,” set for July 8, 9, 15, 16, Shakespeare’s “Henry V” July 22-23, 29-30 and Aristophanes’ “The Clouds” set for Aug. 4-6. All shows are free and start at 8 p.m. at Lincoln Park, 11th Avenue and 38th Street, Rock Island. For more info, visit genesius.org.
12. Rooney show
Currently on its “Ultrasonic Summer Tour” the rock band Rooney, known for hits such as “When Did Your Heart Go Missing,” will make a stop in Davenport. See Rooney, along with Run River North and Twinsmith, at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 24 at the Village Theatre, 2113 E 11th St., Davenport. Tickets, $20 in advance, are available at eventbrite.com.
13. "Jean Shin: MAiZE"
A new community-oriented exhibit, “Jean Shin: MAiZE” will open June 24 and run through Sept. 24 at the Figge Art Museum, 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport. In the exhibit, inspired by Iowa’s landscape of cornfields, thousands of repurposed green plastic bottles made into cornstalk sculptures by volunteers will form a maze on the museum’s third floor. Admission to the Figge Museum is free through Sept. 3. The facility is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit figgeartmuseum.org.
14. Red, White & Boom
Celebrate the Fourth of July at area Quad-City outdoor venues on Monday, July 3. Red White & Boom festivities, in which admission is free, include kid activities, live music and more at Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S Gaines St., Davenport, LeClaire Park, 400 West Beiderbecke Drive, Davenport, and Schwiebert Riverfront Park, 101 17th St, Rock Island. See fireworks launched from two barges on the Mississippi River synced to music heard through the parks or via 97X FM Radio.
15. Barn on the Fourth
Looking to add music to your Fourth of July plans? Head to Codfish Hollow, the barn-turned music venue in rural Maquoketa, Iowa, for “Barn on the Fourth,” featuring tunes from Twin Peaks, The Kickback, Yoko and the Oh No's, The Blisters and Land of Blood and Sunshine starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 4 at Codfish Hollow, 5013 288th Ave., Maquoketa, Iowa. Tickets, $25-30, are available at codfishhollowbarnstormers.com.
16. Leftover Salmon at Redstone Room
When it comes to shows scheduled so far at the Redstone Room this summer, here’s one of the venue’s highlights. Leftover Salmon, the popular jam band from Boulder, Colorado, that formed in 1989, is coming to the Redstone Room, 129 N. Main St., Davenport, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 3. Tickets, $35, are available at rivermusicexperience.org.
17. “West Side Story"
The Quad-City Music Guild continues its season with “West Side Story” July 7-9 and July 13-16 and “Sunset Boulevard,” set for Aug. 4-6 and Aug 10-13 at Prospect Park Auditorium, 1584 34th Ave., Moline. Tickets, $16 for adults and $11 for kids. For reservations, call 309-762-6610.
18. “Footloose” on the Clinton Showboat
The Clinton Area Showboat offers a diverse lineup of musicals this summer, from “Newsies” to “The Bridges of Madison County.” Check out “Footloose” from July 6-23 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.
19. Dawn & On festival
Check out this one-day outdoor festival featuring music from The Dawn, Old Shoe, Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts and J.E. Sunde. Dawn & On is set for Saturday, July 8 at Len Brown's North Shore Inn & Marina, 700 N Shore Drive, Moline. Tickets, $5, are available at thedawnband.com.
20. The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys — known for songs such as “God Only Knows,” “Good Vibrations,” and “Sufin’ U.S.A." — have been around for over five decades. The upbeat group is set to perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 13 at the Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport. Tickets, $65, $75, $95, are available at Ticketmaster.com, the Adler Theatre Box Office and by phone at 800-745-3000.
21. “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers”
Circa ‘21 Dinner Playhouse is wrapping up its 40th season with “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” the musical set in Oregon in the 1850s, which opens July 21 and runs through Sept. 16 at the theater, 1828 3rd Ave., Rock Island. Tickets cost $51.73 for the evening performances, which include a five entree buffet. Tickets are available at the Circa '21 ticket office, by calling 309-786-7733 or at circa21.com.
22. Gaelynn Lea concert
Here’s another Daytrotter show to put on your radar. Gaelynn Lea, the violinist and songwriter who won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Concert and stole the spotlight during the venue’s festival, Daytrotter Downs, in March, is returning to town. Lea, who recently released an E.P. titled "The Songs We Sing Along the Way,” is slated to play at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 22 at Daytrotter, 324 Brady St., Davenport. Tickets, $8 in advance and $12 at the door. For more info, visit daytrotter.com.
23. Emily Keener at the Raccoon Motel
The Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel has a stacked summer of shows planned. The music venue and bar, which also has a large patio, is bringing Emily Keener, who appeared on NBC’s “The Voice” in 2016, to town with opener Kari Arnett on Friday, July 21. Tickets, $8, are available at racoonmotel.com.
24. Quad-City Times Bix 7
Join thousands of runners and walkers in one of the premier running events in the country — the Quad-City Times Bix 7. Or grab a patch of grass and watch from along the 7-mile long course that begins and finishes in downtown Davenport and includes challenging Brady Street Hill.
Race time is 8 a.m., Saturday, July 29.
And that's not all. There's a Jr. Bix on Friday, July 28 for the youngsters. That race begins at 6 p.m.
To prepare for the big race and get your Bix going, there's the Bix at 6, a set of 4 training runs. Runs start at 6 p. m. on Thursdays — June 22, June 29, July 6 & July 13. The training runs follow the actual Bix course.
25. Bix Street Fest
Already counting down to this year’s Quad-City Times Bix7? Along with the 7-mile race, count on attending the free two-day Bix Street Fest, which will take over downtown Davenport on July 28-29. Expect food and drink vendors, multiple stages with live music and dozens of arts and craft vendors on 2nd Street between Brady and Ripley streets in Davenport.
26. Blues Fest
All Sweat Productions, a live music project made up of a cast of 20 area musicians, will present a tribute to B.B. King, Albert King and Freddie King during the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, June 30-July 1 at LeClaire Park, 400 West Beiderbecke Drive, Davenport. Other performers include the Corey Dennison Band, Dana Fuchs, Joanna Connor and Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers. Tickets, $10-15 in advance. For more info, visit mvbs.org.
27. Mississippi Valley Fair
One of the biggest events of the summer is back for its 97th year. The Mississippi Valley Fair is poised to bring grandstand acts including Dustin Lynch, Tyler Farr, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Brett Eldredge, John Mellencamp and Randy Houser to the fairgrounds, 2815 W Locust St., Davenport Aug. 1-6. To purchase fun cards, $55, visit mvfair.com.
28. Tribute to Bix
Your annual excuse to honor Bix is back. The Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival has new home for its 46th year: The Rhythm City Casino Resort, 7077 Elmore Ave., Davenport. It’s set Aug. 3-5 and by that time, Bix Beiderbecke Museum and Archives, housed in the lower level of the River Music Experience, is slated to be open for business. The fest features musicians such as The Fat Babies, Roof Garden Jass Band, Dave Bennett Quartet and Swing Central. Other musicians will be playing at LeClaire Park, 400 West Beiderbecke Drive, Davenport. Tickets cost $30-105. For more information, visit bixsociety.org.
29. Back Road Music Festival
This one is for country music fans. The Back Road Music Festival is set to bring top country names such as Travis Tritt, Dylan Scott, Michael Ray and Runaway June to Galva, Illinois, on August 12. Tickets, $40, are available at thebackroadmusicfestival.com.
30. Ya Maka My Weekend
Rock Island is gearing up to transform into a tropical oasis for the 26th annual Ya Maka My Weekend. The fest brings Caribbean food and music to downtown Rock Island on Saturday, August 12. Admission is $9.
31. Tug Fest
You won’t want to miss one of the more eccentric events of the summer: The 31st annual Tug Fest. The ultimate tug-of-war between Port Byron, Illinois, and LeClaire, Iowa is set for Aug. 10-12. The annual event brings carnival rides, bingo games, fireworks, live music and about 35,000 people to the two downtown areas. For more info, visit tugfest.org, owned by the Port Byron side or tugfest.com, run by the LeClaire side.
Floatzilla, the annual paddle sports festival sponsored by River Action Inc. returns on Saturday, Aug. 19, inviting hundreds of people to explore the Mississippi River and its backwaters. Participants can launch from five different sites, such as Credit Island, Ben Butterworth Parkway or Empire Park, and make their way to Rock Island's Lake Potter for an attempt to set a world record for the number of canoes and kayaks floating in one place. Cost, $15-30. For more information, visit floatzilla.org.
33. Quad-City Symphony Riverfront Pops
Songs such as “Here Comes the Sun,” “Yesterday” and “Let it Be,” will be the subject of this year’s Quad City Bank & Trust Riverfront Pops. That’s right -- the Quad-City Symphony Orchestra will take on The Beatles’ greatest hits -- including the entire “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album -- at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19 at LeClaire Park, 400 West Beiderbecke Drive, Davenport. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $5 for kids. For more information and tickets, visit qcso.org.
34. Alternating Currents with Ben Folds
Alternating Currents, the new music, comedy, film and arts festival replacing River Roots Live, is set for Aug. 25-26 at 12 venues around downtown Davenport. Headliner Ben Folds, with Julien Baker, is slated to perform on Friday, Aug. 25 at the Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport. Concerts will also happen at Daytrotter, Redstone Room and the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel and free live music is set to take over outdoor spaces such as Great River Brewery. For tickets to the Ben Folds concert, ranging from $29 to $79, visit Ticketmaster.com. For other events, a weekend pass costs $15. For more information, visit alternatingcurrentsqc.com.
35. Out to the ballpark
Don’t forget a trip to Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S Gaines St., Davenport, for a River Bandits game this summer. There are plenty of home games scheduled for August and early September. Plus, check out the park's "Mega-candy drop" event slated for Aug. 6, when, after the game, a helicopter will drop candy and marshmallows on the field for visitors to pick up.
36. East fest
The lineup hasn’t been announced yet, but East Fest is scheduled to return on Sunday, Sept. 3 in the Village of East Davenport with plenty of musical acts, food vendors and beer on tap. Past musicians have included Lissie, Caroline Smith, Bonnie Montgomery Music and Archeress. Stay updated by visiting eastfestinthevillage.com.
37. Beaux Arts Festival
The bi-annual Beaux Arts Festival is back for its September showing. See hundred of arts and craft vendors flood the plaza in front of the Figge Art Museum, 225 W. 2nd St., Davenport, Sept. 9-10. For more information, visit beauxartsfair.com.
Here’s another fest to put on your radar. The second annual GARP music festival -- set for Sept. 8-9 -- will take over Codfish Hollow, 5013 288th Ave., Maquoketa, Iowa. Last year’s fest brought over 30 musical acts, such as LOLO, Guided by Voices, Cory Chisel and Susto, to the barn-turned music venue. Some of the lineup is expected to be announced next week. To stay updated on GARP, visit codfishhollowbarnstormers.com.
39. Riverssance Festival of Fine Art
MidCoast Fine Arts presents the annual Riverssance Festival of Fine Art, back for its 26th year, Sept. 16-17. About 100 of the top artists from around the country will showcase their art alongside food and wine vendors at Lindsay Park in the Village of East Davenport. The Riverssance Festival, which is MidCoast’s primary fundraiser, serves as the anchor event for the East-West River Fest, a 10-day arts and cultural celebration in the Quad-Cities. Admission is $4 for person and $6 for a two-day pass. Kids under 12 get in free.
40. ZZ Top
ZZ Top — the rock band that formed more than 40 years ago — is coming to Davenport. See the group known for hits such as "Legs," "La Grange," "Sharp Dressed Man" and "Tush” on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport. Tickets, $59.50, $79.50, $99.50, are available at Ticketmaster.com,, the Adler Theatre Box Office and by phone at 800-745-3000.