A unique collaboration between the City of Bettendorf and local businesses ensures a robust 4th of July Festival that offers something for everyone to enjoy.
"We are appreciative of all the businesses that support this event," said Denice Enfield, PR/social media/event specialist for the City of Bettendorf.
"It’s something – the 4th of July festivities – that’s very important to our city council," she said. "They do budget funds for it, but the more money we can get from businesses to support it, the more activities we can do, the longer the festival can last, and the more entertainment we can offer."
That includes a July 3 concert by country singer and Grandview, Iowa, native Adam Cunningham that will also feature local rock band Hap Hazard. Cunningham will take the stage (the west stage near 18th Street and Spruce Hills Drive) at 9 p.m. Hap Hazard performs at 7 p.m.
"The fact that we can all stay here in our hometown is really, really nice," Enfield said. She said she hears that many Bettendorf natives return to visit for the July 4 celebration, and family reunions are planned around it.
Heading the list of business sponsors this year is UnityPoint Health - Trinity, as a Freedom sponsor for the overall event.
"UnityPoint Health – Trinity has been a proud partner of the annual Bettendorf 4th of July Festival for several years," Pat Shouse of UnityPoint Health – Trinity said in a statement. "Our purpose of improving the health of the people and communities we serve is a mission we care deeply about. We are passionate about supporting our community and improving the quality of life for the residents in Bettendorf and the greater Quad-Cities.
“The people of our community are amazing, which makes our area a great place to live, work and play. Be sure to stop by the festival for a wide variety of entertainment, and have a wonderful and safe Independence Day," she added.
Don Keller, a member of the family that owns K&K Hardware, another festival sponsor, said supporting the event is a way for the business to give back to the community.
"It’s a place where people can come and enjoy the holiday," he said of the festival. Personally, he said, the parade is his favorite part of the event.
The Bettendorf Business Network, or BBN, supports the 4th of July Festival every year as both a sponsor and a participant, notes Richard Pokora, BBN vice president.
"We have three vehicles in the parade with the River City Six band riding and playing with us," he said. "We will hand out beach balls to children and have a welcome booth at Cumberland Plaza in the afternoon."
The BBN invites any businesses to walk with its float and hand out promotional items to parade-goers.
"The 4th of July parade reminds the community that downtown businesses contribute to the well-being of our city," Pokora said.
This year, there are more than 100 entries in the parade, which is directed by the Greater Bettendorf Community Foundation. The parade’s grand marshal is Bill Albracht, one of the most highly-decorated veterans of the Vietnam War as the recipient of three Silver Stars for gallantry in action, three Purple Hearts, and five Bronze Stars, among other honors.
A new entry this year is the Bettendorf Hy-Vee Kids Fit program, in which, kids and their parents are invited to walk the parade route and hand out healthy treats. Walkers will be accompanied by Hy-Vee’s Kids Fit Mini Cooper. Those interested can sign up on July 4 at the Hy-Vee registration table at the start of the parade route or contact Bettendorf Hy-Vee Registered Dietician Lauren Zust.
Zust said that Kids Fit is a free, online personal fitness and nutrition program for children, teens and families to promote healthy eating and fitness. More information on the program will be available at a Kids Fit event at the Bettendorf Hy-Vee from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday, June 23.
The 4th of July parade kicks off at 10 a.m. from 23rd and State streets. An array of food and craft vendors, along with rides and inflatables, will be available along Spruce Hills Drive from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fireworks begin at dusk at Middle Park.
Enfield said an estimated 30,000 people took part in Bettendorf’s 4th of July Festival in 2018, which includes the July 3 concert, parade, amusement rides and fireworks. A complete schedule of activities and description of all the events can be found on the city’s website at www.bettendorf.org.
Leann Themas, owner of Tango Salon in downtown Bettendorf and a member of the Women’s Downtown Bettendorf Task Force, said the 4th of July Festival is a long-standing tradition that people count on.
“People look forward to it,” she said.