Firecrackers, roman candles and sparklers may be legal in Iowa now, but those items will not be allowed at the upcoming Red White and Boom celebration.

The Quad-City-area’s annual Fourth of July party, set for Monday, July 3, will prohibit the use of consumer fireworks at its three primary viewing areas, officials announced at a news conference on Monday.

Consumer fireworks became legal to sell and set off in Iowa on June 1.

"While the use of fireworks may be legal, that does not make it wise," Ken Croken, chief marketing officer for Genesis Health System, a sponsor of the event, said during the news conference. "These are inherently dangerous products that ought to be handled by professionals.”

During Red White and Boom, two dueling barges on the Mississippi River will fire off a fireworks display, courtesy of Melrose Pyrotechnics Inc., a company based in Kingsbury, Indiana.

Davenport’s LeClaire Park and Modern Woodmen Park and Rock Island's Schwiebert Riverfront Park will host activities and serve as the main viewing spots on July 3.

“These are the best areas to view the fireworks during one of the biggest fireworks displays in the region,” said Jason Gilliland, events director at the Downtown Davenport Partnership. “To get the full effect, you really need to be down on the riverfront.”

Activities begin at 5 p.m. Monday, July 3. The fireworks display will begin at 9:30 p.m. During the display, tune into WXLP-FM (96.9), also known as 97x, for an accompanying soundtrack. Admission is free and open to the public at the following outdoor areas:

• Modern Woodmen Park, 209 S. Gaines St., Davenport: Activities in the ballpark include free bounce houses, a scavenger hunt, face painting, crafts plus live music starting at 6 p.m. The park's food and beverage providers will be open.

• Schwiebert Riverfront Park, 101 17th St., Rock Island: Along with the splash park, activities include inflatables, food vendors — such as Happy Joe's, Rock Island Hy-Vee Grill, Cindy's Tropical Shaved Ice and Hey Brothers Ice Cream — as well as a beer garden sponsored by Bent River Brewing Co. On the music side, see the Big River Brass Band at 5:15 p.m., the Metropolitan Youth Program Drill Team at 6:30 p.m. and Smooth Groove at 7 p.m. Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Don't bring outside alcohol, tents, fireworks or pets. Coolers and bags will be checked at the gate.

• LeClaire Park, 400 W. Beiderbecke Drive, Davenport: Genesis Family Fun viewing area featuring entertainment from River City 6 at 7 p.m. and food vendors on Beiderbecke Drive next to LeClaire Park. Use of alcohol or tobacco or vaping is prohibited.

"Each of these locations is unique and offers a slightly different experience for people to choose between," Croken said. “There is no rule that says if you live on one side of the river, you are not at liberty to cross, so feel free to come to the area that is most appropriate for you."

Red White and Boom, which is presented by Genesis Health System and the Regional Development Authority, started in 2004 and has become a “community expectation,” Croken said.

"The original vision was to give the children of the Quad-Cities a good and safe fireworks display for July 4th," he said.

This year, officials are putting an emphasis on the "safe" part.

"We are asking people this year, more than any other year prior, to approach this event with a sense of safety and concern,” Croken said. “We want to ensure people enjoy their holiday in a safe and sane way, and the best bet to do that is Red White and Boom.”


Amanda Hancock is a reporter covering food, arts and entertainment in the Quad-Cities (and beyond).