[ {"id":"315c1949-e3f1-5326-88e2-a817a98703e1","type":"article","starttime":"1531863900","starttime_iso8601":"2018-07-17T16:45:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1531872848","sections":[{"entertainment":"entertainment"},{"local":"news/local"}],"flags":{"alert":"true","top_story":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Folk singer Ray LaMontagne is coming to Davenport this fall","url":"http://qctimes.com/entertainment/article_315c1949-e3f1-5326-88e2-a817a98703e1.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/entertainment/folk-singer-ray-lamontagne-is-coming-to-davenport-this-fall/article_315c1949-e3f1-5326-88e2-a817a98703e1.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/entertainment/folk-singer-ray-lamontagne-is-coming-to-davenport-this-fall/article_315c1949-e3f1-5326-88e2-a817a98703e1.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Amanda Hancock\nahancock@qctimes.com","prologue":"Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne is headed to Davenport this fall. The folk musician, who released his seventh studio album,\u00a0\u201cPart of the Light,\u201d in May and is known for songs such as \"You Are the Best Thing,\" will play the Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, the venue announced Tuesday.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"359577c6-beff-5615-b925-62ff386267c8","description":"Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne will play the Adler Theatre in Davenport on Oct. 24.\u00a0","byline":"CONTRIBUTED PHOTO","hireswidth":5760,"hiresheight":3840,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/59/359577c6-beff-5615-b925-62ff386267c8/5b4e627b593e8.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/59/359577c6-beff-5615-b925-62ff386267c8/5b4e627b43c55.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/59/359577c6-beff-5615-b925-62ff386267c8/5b4e627b43c55.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/59/359577c6-beff-5615-b925-62ff386267c8/5b4e627b43c55.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/59/359577c6-beff-5615-b925-62ff386267c8/5b4e627b43c55.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":2,"commentID":"315c1949-e3f1-5326-88e2-a817a98703e1","body":"

Singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne is headed to Davenport this fall.

The folk musician, who released his seventh studio album,\u00a0\u201cPart of the Light,\u201d in May and is known for songs such as \"You Are the Best Thing,\" will play the Adler Theatre, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, the venue announced Tuesday.

The concert is part of LaMontagne's 25-date acoustic tour dubbed \"Just Passing Through,\" which kicks off on Oct. 7 in Portland, Maine, and includes a stop at the iconic Radio City Music Hall in New York City.\u00a0

Throughout the tour, John Stirratt, of the band Wilco, will accompany LaMontagne on bass.

Tickets for the Adler Theatre show will be go on sale at noon Friday with prices starting at $39.50 and going up to $79.50.

Tickets will be available at Ticketmaster.com, the Adler Theatre Box Office and by phone at 800-745-3000. 

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Walkers and runners climbing Brady Street during the Quad-City Times Bix 7 next weekend will be greeted with a new sight\u00a0\u2014 and new smells\u00a0\u2014\u00a0on top of the hill.\u00a0

Jonathan and Ashley McNeal, owners of McNeal\u2019s Southern Smokehouse, plan to start grilling and serving comfort food early morning on Saturday, July 28, to feed Bix 7 spectators. They'll also have plenty of water on hand.\u00a0

\u201cWe\u2019ll have plenty to tempt people with,\u201d Ashley McNeal said.

If passersby don\u2019t stop for a Bix breakfast of pulled pork or ribs, she hopes they\u2019ll be inspired to come back.

\u201cIt\u2019ll be good publicity with all those people,\u201d she said. \u201cAt least they\u2019ll see us.\u201d

McNeal's Southern Smokehouse\u2019s location at 1218 Brady St. in Davenport has served the eatery, which primarily does carry-out business, well so far since opening in mid-May. So has the restaurant\u2019s new paint job, complete with cartoon drawings of food and flames, and the recent addition of four yard signs with handwritten \u201cNow Open\u201d messages.

\u201cThere are so many cars that go by everyday,\u201d McNeal said. \u201cIt\u2019s a ridiculous amount.\u201d

That\u2019s part of why the first-time restaurateurs chose to rent the property, which is sandwiched between the Palmer College of Chiropractic and St. Ambrose University campuses.

\u201cThe super part is you have high traffic and a high density of people who live in that area as well as the colleges,\u201d said Jeff Weindruch, a real estate agent who worked with the McNeals. \u201cIt\u2019s a win-win-win type of situation.\u201d

The 384-square-foot building has \u201ca little bit of history to it,\u201d according to Weindruch, including several stints in the realm of barbecue.

Most recently, it operated as a convenience store. In past years, it housed a fish and chicken restaurant, Big Mouthz BBQ, a coffee shop called Hot Cups and a barbecue sandwich walk-up eatery.

\u201cIt\u2019s a good location for a mom-and-pop restaurant,\u201d he said. \u201cYou drive by a place 6 or 7 times and you think, \u2018I\u2019ll have to go back there.\u2019\u201d

Opening a restaurant has long been a dream for Jonathan and Ashley McNeal, who are both in their early 30s and have been married for four years.

\u201cWe decided to go for it,\u201d Ashley McNeal said, estimating that they put $10,000 into the business.

McNeal said her husband, who she calls a pit-master, \u201chas always had a knack for barbecuing.\u201d

\u201cI got more into it seeing how much he loved it,\u201d she said, adding that she has since mastered southern-style vegetables. \"We make a good team.\"\u00a0

Ashley McNeal said barbecue is a go-to for their blended family, which includes five children ages 1 to 13.

\u201cWe love to cook together as a family,\" she said. \"It's fun for us.\"\u00a0

And the same kind of food is on the menu at the restaurant that shares the family name. Appetizers range from fried pickles to breaded shrimp to catfish nuggets to pizza puffs. Meals include ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken as well as sandwiches and sides such as macaroni and cheese, black-eyed peas and green bean casserole.

\u201cIt\u2019s all of our favorite foods made fresh everyday,\u201d Ashley McNeal, a full-time nurse, said. \u201cThere's not enough soul food in the Quad-Cities.\u201d

Jonathan McNeal has worked at restaurants, from taco shops to pizza places, since he was a teenager. He has never worked at a barbecue place, though.

\"It\u2019s my favorite kind of food to make,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s nice to be able to do my own thing.\u201d

New BBQ spot opens on busy Brady Street
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With two weeks to go until the 99th annual Mississippi Valley Fair, Shawn Loter said his to-do list is \u201cabout a mile long.\u201d

On a recent morning, Loter drove his custom golf cart\u00a0\u2014 decorated with red and black tie-dye, the fair logo and his first name in small, cursive letters\u00a0\u2014 around the fairgrounds and pointed to a few buildings in need of a power-wash or a paint touch-up.

The most noticeable item on his list is an ongoing $300,000 remodel of the grandstand\u2019s facade. Work is set to be complete by July 31, when the six-day fair kicks off.

\u201cAll the brick work is being updated,\u201d Loter said. \u201cIt\u2019s going to look brand new.\u201d

This fair may be Loter\u2019s second run as general manager, but it will be full of firsts for the 42-year-old Bettendorf resident who began working for the fair when he was 13.

By the time Loter took over last year, the grandstand acts and other entertainment had already been booked by former manager Bob Fox, who also stayed on as a consultant last summer.

\u201cI started in the middle of things,\u201d he said. \u201cThis was my first time booking the entertainers, which can be very nerve-wracking. You put in a bid and you don\u2019t get it and you do that over and over.\u201d

A-list entertainers can cost anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million for one night, Loter said, which doesn\u2019t fit within the fair\u2019s budget.

\u201cThat\u2019s what a lot of people don\u2019t understand,\u201d he said. \u201cYou want to bring in the best acts, but you have to keep it affordable.\u201d

This year, a Fun Card, which grant access to the fair for the entire week and is the only way to attend grandstand shows, costs $60.

And Loter is happy with the lineup, with headliners including Chris Young, Sublime with Rome, Toby Keith, Theory of a Deadman, Billy Currington and Justin Moore.

\u201cWe beat last year,\u201d he said. \u201cEach year, it\u2019s going to get better and better.\u201d

By the way, he's already putting out bids for next year's grandstand acts.\u00a0

As Loter said, the grandstand shows are \u201cvery important\u201d for the fair.

The concerts frequently bring in between 15,000 to 30,000 people per night. The attendance record sits at 31,200 and goes back to an Alan Jackson concert in 2008.

The fair schedule also features more local bands, new vendors and a new area offering free, family-oriented activities called Sandyland, which will be located behind the Starlite Ballroom.

\u201cIt\u2019s important to build the audience we want and to bring in a variety of the entertainment that people want to see,\u201d he said. \u201cYou want to keep things new and interesting.\u201d

Loter has already brought different kinds of non-fair events to the fairgrounds, including a well-attended St. Patrick\u2019s Day party and an indoor beach-themed party in June.

While Loter says the fair is a \u201cwell-oiled machine,\u201d it doesn\u2019t come without stress.

Vicky Speth, who has worked as the office manager for 32 years, says she goes into \u201cpanic mode\u201d during the last two weeks of July.

\"You just keep going over your checklist and hoping everything gets done,\" she said. \u201cPeople think we start working on it a week before and it just happens. Well, that\u2019s not the case.\u201d

Speth\u2019s work on the fair begins in January and it only gets busier as summer approaches.

\u201cBy the time it opens, the fair is like a city within itself,\u201d she said. \u201cThere\u2019s a lot of little odds and ends that go into it.\u201d

Speth, who works in the office with her daughter, Kelly Howes, said Loter is bringing a new kind of enthusiasm to the Quad-City tradition.\u00a0

\u201cWe kind of got stagnant for a while,\u201d she said. \u201cHe\u2019s changing some things up.\u201d

Some of those changes have been sitting in the back of Loter\u2019s mind for years.

\u201cWhen you\u2019re the behind the scenes, you see things you\u2019d do differently,\u201d he said. \"Now, I get to do that.\"\u00a0

During his daily tour of the fairgrounds in his golf cart, he keeps an eye on how things look and what to improve. He has a long list of ideas for the fair's upcoming 100th year.\u00a0

\u201cIt helps me think of things we need to get done,\u201d he said. \u201cSome things will happen soon and some we\u2019ll wait on.\u201d

And Loter, who has worked here full-time since he graduated high school and served as the fairgrounds\u2019 maintenance manager for more than a decade, knows these 87.5 acres well. On some mornings, out of habit, he still mows the grass.

When he drives toward the back of the fair\u2019s property, he points to a blue house off of Lincoln Road. He lived there when he was younger.

\u201cStarting from a young age, this has been my life,\u201d he said. \u201cIt\u2019s good how it is. You just want to keep making it better.\u201d

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Attention, Quad-City \"American Idol\" fans: Maddie Poppe, the Clarksville, Iowa, native who won the reality TV competition in May, is playing nearby this fall.\u00a0

The 20-year-old Poppe announced last week that she has two home-state concerts planned for September.\u00a0

She'll perform at the Wild Rose Casino in Clinton on Sept. 22 as well as the Wild Rose Casino in Jefferson on Sept. 28.\u00a0

Poppe is currently on the 40-city \"American Idol: Live! 2018\" tour, which doesn't include any Iowa dates and runs through mid-September.\u00a0

Tickets for the concert in Clinton, which cost $25, will go on sale Tuesday at wildroseresorts.com. Music will kick off at 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22.

As far as other Iowa concerts for the \"Idol\" champ go, Poppe is slated to play a free concert on Aug. 25 in Cedar Rapids as part of the city's\u00a0Market After Dark series.

"}, {"id":"cd3cff42-b38b-5c62-98b5-e2ba6024d933","type":"article","starttime":"1531760400","starttime_iso8601":"2018-07-16T12:00:00-05:00","lastupdated":"1531907090","sections":[{"entertainment":"entertainment"},{"local":"news/local"}],"flags":{"alert":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Primus to perform at Adler Theatre in October","url":"http://qctimes.com/entertainment/article_cd3cff42-b38b-5c62-98b5-e2ba6024d933.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/entertainment/primus-to-perform-at-adler-theatre-in-october/article_cd3cff42-b38b-5c62-98b5-e2ba6024d933.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/entertainment/primus-to-perform-at-adler-theatre-in-october/article_cd3cff42-b38b-5c62-98b5-e2ba6024d933.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Amanda Hancock\nahancock@qctimes.com","prologue":"Primus, the rock band known for songs such as \"My Name is Mud\" and \"Tommy the Cat,\" is coming to Davenport later this year. Primus is slated to take the Adler Theatre stage on Wednesday, Oct. 3, the venue announced Monday.\u00a0 Tickets, ranging from $25 to $59.50, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday and will be available at the Adler Theatre Box Office,136 E. 3rd St., Davenport, online at Ticketmaster.com and by phone at 800-745-3000.\u00a0","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["adler","primus"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"d9907ff0-47b4-5d4b-9901-d1dca45ae418","description":"Primus is slated to perform at the Adler Theatre on Oct. 3.\u00a0","byline":"CONTRIBUTED PHOTO","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"576","height":"461","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/99/d9907ff0-47b4-5d4b-9901-d1dca45ae418/5b4cced6d496a.image.jpg?resize=576%2C461"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"80","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/99/d9907ff0-47b4-5d4b-9901-d1dca45ae418/5b4cced6d496a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C80"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"240","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/99/d9907ff0-47b4-5d4b-9901-d1dca45ae418/5b4cced6d496a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C240"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"820","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/99/d9907ff0-47b4-5d4b-9901-d1dca45ae418/5b4cced6d496a.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"cd3cff42-b38b-5c62-98b5-e2ba6024d933","body":"

Primus, the rock band known for songs such as \"My Name is Mud\" and \"Tommy the Cat,\" is coming to Davenport later this year.

Primus is slated to take the Adler Theatre stage on Wednesday, Oct. 3, the venue announced Monday.\u00a0

Tickets, ranging from $25 to $59.50, will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday and will be available at the Adler Theatre Box Office,136 E. 3rd St., Davenport, online at Ticketmaster.com and by phone at 800-745-3000. 

For more info, visit adlertheatre.com.\u00a0

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'Mamma Mia' opens at Circa '21\"Mamma Mia,\" the musical packed with ABBA's classic songs such as \"Dancing Queen,\" kicks off this week at Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, 1828 3rd Ave., Rock Island. The show opens Thursday and runs through Sept. 15 with shows happening weekly at\u00a07:45 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays as well as\u00a0at 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays. The doors open at 5:45 p.m. and a buffet dinner is served from 6-7 p.m. On Sundays, doors open at 3:45 p.m., dinner is served at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 5:45 p.m. Tickets for the Wednesday through Sunday evening performances are $48 plus tax; tickets for the Wednesday matinees are $42.50 plus tax. For reservations, call 309-786-7733 or visit\u00a0circa21.com.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["workweek and weekend","labor history","weeks","circa","rock island","radio","new york","york","mummy cass","davenport","brooklyn","quad","lincoln park","john deere pavilion","food","john deere","eddie mummy","java mummy","michigan","bettendorf","here come the mummies","venice","art academy","walk into a storm","queen","glass menagerie","ber\u00e9skin fine art gallery","309-794-7306","merchant of venice","raccoon motel","brunner theatre center","309-786-7733","rapper","detroit","shakespeare","black milk","food vendors","genesius guild","story show","triple crown whiskey bar","augustana college"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"0690f0b5-0b5f-5184-8359-c6b06e3dc0a6","description":"See The Lone Bellow on Thursday at Codfish Hollow in Maquoketa, Iowa.","byline":"CONTRIBUTED 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1. 'Mamma Mia' opens at Circa '21

\"Mamma Mia,\" the musical packed with ABBA's classic songs such as \"Dancing Queen,\" kicks off this week at Circa '21 Dinner Playhouse, 1828 3rd Ave., Rock Island. The show opens Thursday and runs through Sept. 15 with shows happening weekly at\u00a07:45 p.m. Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays as well as\u00a0at 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays. The doors open at 5:45 p.m. and a buffet dinner is served from 6-7 p.m. On Sundays, doors open at 3:45 p.m., dinner is served at 5 p.m. and the show starts at 5:45 p.m. Tickets for the Wednesday through Sunday evening performances are $48 plus tax; tickets for the Wednesday matinees are $42.50 plus tax. For reservations, call 309-786-7733 or visit\u00a0circa21.com.

6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 4 p.m. Sunday, Circa '21, $42.50-$48

2. The Lone Bellow at Codfish Hollow\u00a0

The Lone Bellow, a folk/rock band based in Brooklyn, New York, are set to play Thursday with opener Erin Rae at Codfish Hollow, the barn-turned music venue in Maquoketa, Iowa. \"Walk into a Storm,\" the group's third album, came out in September. Tickets to the show cost $20 in advance and $25 on the day of. For more info, visit codfishhollowbarnstormers.com.

8 p.m. Thursday, Codfish Hollow, $20-$25

3. Rock Island County Fair

This 149th annual Rock Island County Fair kicks off Tuesday and will bring a variety of family-friendly activities to the Rock Island County Fairgrounds, 4200 Archer Drive, East Moline, through Saturday. Festivities, following this year's theme\u00a0\u2014 \"A Family Af-fair!\"\u00a0\u2014 include fireworks, diesel drags, livestock shows, food vendors, arts and crafts and carnival rides. Admissions costs $2 for ages 13 and older, $1 for kids ages 6-12 is free for children age 5 and under. For more info, visit\u00a0rockislandfair.org.

Tuesday-Saturday, Rock Island County Fairground, $1-$2

4. Here Come the Mummies

The monster-dressing eight piece funk/rock band Here Come the Mummies are returning to the Quad-Cities this week. The band is made up of professional musicians who perform in mummy garb and go by names such as Mummy Cass, Java Mummy and Eddie Mummy. Since forming the group in 2000, the musicians have kept their real identities under wraps. See Here Come the Mummies perform at 8 p.m. Friday at Rhythm City Casino, 7077 Elmore Ave., Davenport. Tickets, $25, are available at rhythmcitycasino.showare.com.

8 p.m. Friday, Rhythm City Casino, $25

5. Learn and Play Day

During Learn and Play Day Saturday, set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the John Deere Pavilion on River Drive in Moline, kids of all ages are invited to spend the day playing and learning about life on a farm, construction sites and the world of forestry and more.

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, John Deere Pavilion. Free

6. Story Show and Black Milk show

The next installment of the Story Show series, this one featuring stories about \"Summertime Madness,\" is slated for Friday at the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel, 304 E. 3rd St., Davenport. Doors open at 6 p.m. and stories start at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10. Following the Story Show, Detroit, Michigan based rapper Black Milk will perform at 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $20 in advance at raccoonmotel.com and $25 day of.\u00a0

7 p.m. Friday, Raccoon Motel, $10

7. Plein Air paint out\u00a0

Ber\u00e9skin Fine Art Gallery and Art Academy will host the second annual Plein Air Paint Out on Saturday. The event features local artists painting all day along the Bettendorf riverfront site painting and drawing \"en plein air,\" the French term for outdoors. Spectators are invited to check out the artists' work from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the gallery will host music, food and fellowship. For more information or to register for the Paint Out, visit\u00a0bereskinartgallery.com. Registration costs $15 for painters. The event is free for spectators.

Starting at 7 a.m. Saturday, Bettendorf riverfront and Bereskin Art Gallery, $15\u00a0

7. \u2018The Glass Menagerie\u2019

Continuing its second season, Mississippi Bend Players will end its run of Tennessee Williams’ “The Glass Menagerie” this week. Show times include 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Brunner Theatre Center. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors/students/children as well as Augustana College faculty and staff. Tickets can be purchased by calling 309-794-7306 or by visiting Mississippibendplayers.com

7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Brunner Theatre Center, $15-$20

9. Shakespeare in the park\u00a0

This weekend, Genesius Guild presents free performances of Shakespeare's \"Merchant of Venice,\" at the Lincoln Park near the intersection of 38th Street and 11th Avenue in Rock Island. Shows begin at 8 p.m. For more info, visit\u00a0genesius.org.

8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Lincoln Park. Free

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Sitting at the Massey Marina counter, you couldn\u2019t be in a bad mood for long.

For starters, there are a dozen wooden signs with motivational phrases ranging from, \u201cLive, laugh and love\u201d to \u201cNo pouting.\u201d There is an up-close view of the Mississippi River and cupcakes being passed around. Within a minute of my arrival, the woman behind the counter wonders if I\u2019d like a beer.

That woman is Pattie Marks, the general manager, and she doesn\u2019t have to ask if this is my first time here. She changes her mind about the beer and says, \u201cDo you like margaritas?\u201d She goes to the refrigerator and clicks open a margarita-in-a-can and puts a menu in front of me. She says everything is good and homemade, but she\u2019s known for her jalape\u00f1o poppers, burgers and pie. She brings me a sample of goulash, the daily special.

\u201cTake your time deciding,\u201d she said before returning to her chatter with regulars about the previous day\u2019s Fourth of July celebration that delivered a large crowd to Massey Marina.

The restaurant/bait shop/gas station in Dubuque County was first on my stretch of stops for our travel series on Mississippi River-related locales.

After the marina, I traveled about 90 miles down Great River Road, passing through Bellevue, Clinton, Princeton and LeClaire.

My mission was to explore the food and drink side of things on this route and I tried, despite my road-trip and journalistic instincts, to avoid doing too much research. I wanted to keep it spontaneous and see what caught my eye. The scenic highway can make for a long journey and enthusiastic appetite, and a number of places cater to tourists or locals looking to get close to the river.

Spoiler alert: What kept catching my eye was the beauty of the road, the bright green trees and bluffs around it and, when I could see it, the flowing river to my left. Each place I stopped offered a view of the Mississippi.

Before my adventure continued, though, I had to decide what to eat.

Massey Marina: Pattie has been running the place, with help from her brother-in-law, \"Smiley,\" since 2010.\u00a0

And it's not a place you just pass on the highway.

\"We're in the middle of nowhere here,\" she correctly stated. \"You have to know people who have been here to get here. You don't just stumble on it.\"\u00a0

She lives about five minutes away, and her days spent cooking for customers can be busy and long. But she misses the place during the winter or when flooding shuts her down, which it did for a few weeks this season.\u00a0

When Pattie's not working, she also misses helping the boaters who pass through to fill up on gas or grab a bite to eat, and she misses catching up with her regulars.

\"The best part is the people I get to meet and talk to,\" she said. \"You can't beat river people.\"\u00a0

As I chowed down on my order of jalape\u00f1o poppers and a Rodeo Burger, I chatted with one of the other people at the counter, a local farmer named Rick LeConte. He goes by \"Hollywood.\"

I told him I'm a reporter with the Quad-City Times and asked if he's a Massey Marina regular.

\"Yeah, I was even here the last time you all were here,\" he said. \"I'm in that book you guys did.\"\u00a0

He's referring to \"The Great River:\u00a0400 miles of the Mississippi,\" which was photographed and written by three of my Times colleagues and released late last year. It features hundreds of river-focused photos, beginning at the northeast tip of Iowa and flowing downward.

On cue, Pattie brought out her copy of \"The Great River,\" and turned to the page featuring photos of her and Massey Marina. Hollywood is in one of the photos and, as I talked to him, he was sitting in the same spot as he was in the photo.\u00a0

He was even wearing the same shirt.\u00a0

\"I love my regulars,\" Pattie said with a smile. \"And I love meeting new people.\"\u00a0

The place hosts baby showers and birthday parties and, last year, was the site of Pattie's own wedding.\u00a0

An outdoor stage hosts live music from 2 to 6 p.m. every Saturday in the summer, and the audience includes diners as well as boaters.\u00a0

\"When there's live music, this is the place to be,\" Pattie said. \"It's a destination.\"\u00a0

As I finished eating, I kept looking around at the decorations, which Pattie said she finds mostly at garage sales.\u00a0

\"I want people to feel at home,\" she said. \"I want them to leave here happy.\"\u00a0

Near the cash register, I spotted a framed and unsigned poem titled, \"Massey,\" which ended with these words, \"Imperfect people offering perfect friendship. It may not be heaven ... but it's close.\"\u00a0

River Ridge Brewing: Things were pretty quiet along Riverview Drive in Bellevue when I arrived in the late afternoon. Walking along the town\u2019s main drag, I saw a marquee suggesting a weekly farmers market would be setting up soon.

I saw a few antique shops and decided to check out The Bookworm, a store filled with books, local artwork and home decor, including picture frames reading, \u201cThe best memories are made at the river\u201d and \u201cThe river is my happy place.\u201d

The woman behind the counter, Sheila Hardgrave, who I later found out was the owner, said the store has been there for 20 years. \u201cAnd everyone said we wouldn\u2019t make it,\u201d she said. There\u2019s no doubt shops such as hers have benefited from their placement on the Great River Road, which leads visitors like me to town.

I kept walking and noticed a brewery I hadn\u2019t heard of. The hours on the window for River Ridge Brewing broke the bad news: It is only open Friday-Sunday. I peeked through the windows and saw a sleek, rustic space with beers called Oar What IPA, Rural Route Stout and Flatbottom Amber, among others. A few days later, Kelly Hueneke, one of the nano-brewery\u2019s four Bellevue-native owners, told me via email that River Ridge opened in September 2016.

\u201cAll four owners are very passionate about craft beer,\u201d she said. \u201cOne of us worked in the craft beer industry and another one was a home brewer, so it just felt right for us to open up a brewery.\u201d

She confirmed that the river brings customers in just about year-round, including boaters in the summer, \u201cleaf lookers\u201d in the fall and eagle-watchers in the winter.

\u201cWe get a lot of people who stop in because they were driving the road and saw our sign,\u201d she said. \u201cWe really couldn't ask for a better location.\u201d

On my way out of town, I saw a family having ice cream cones outside Grandpas\u2019s Parlour, and I passed by Flatted Fifth Blues + BBQ. I made a mental note to make a trip back to Bellevue sometime soon.

About 30 miles later, I passed signs for Wide River Winery, the winery started by a Clinton attorney in her back yard in 1997. I wrote about the winery and its three tasting rooms in the spring, and winemaker Dorothy O'Brien mentioned that many Great River Road travelers make impromptu stops for wine after seeing her roadside markers.\u00a0

I then drove through Princeton and, thanks to more roadside reading, learned about Princeton Days\u00a0\u2014 a two-day community festival set for July 20-21. I also passed Go Fish Marina Bar and Grill, which should be a go-to for anyone who loves a good patio. This is about the time I realized this trip down Great River Road could easily be spread out among several days, rather than several hours.\u00a0

Libations Lane:\u00a0It was just after 5 p.m. when I arrived in LeClaire, and I had planned to run the Bix at Six training run at 6 p.m. in downtown Davenport, so I decided, to get the full experience, to return the following day for LeClaire's monthly First Friday festivities. On First Fridays, shops stay open later than usual and restaurants and bars offer specials.

When I returned on Friday afternoon, I could barely find a parking spot. Cody Road, the town's main drag, was bustling.

Part of LeClaire's booming tourism has been owed to the popularity of \u201cAmerican Pickers,\u201d the History Channel TV show that stars Mike Wolfe (originally from Joliet) and Davenport native Frank Fritz.

\u201cAmerican Pickers,\u201d which is in its eighth season, often features scenes from Wolfe\u2019s LeClaire-based store, Antique Archaeology. As a result, the shop frequently is filled with tourists, hoping for a celebrity sighting or simply a souvenir. Most of them likely hadn't heard of LeClaire 10 years ago.

The quaint and picturesque town has built on the success of the show and now offers plenty for tourists to do, see, eat and drink after getting their photo-opps at Antique Archaeology. The list includes more antique shops and boutiques as well as the sweet-tooth satisfying Shameless Chocoholic, restaurants Crane & Pelican, Happy Joe\u2019s, Blue Iguana and Faithful Pilot among them.

If I\u2019m being honest, though, what keeps me coming back to LeClaire is the two-block stretch dubbed Libations Lane, because it has a distillery, winery and brewery.

On this First Friday, Wide River Winery, Green Tree Brewery and Mississippi River Distilling Co. were packed with people. The distillery offered tours and samples and live music started around 7 p.m.

One of the bartenders said she hadn\u2019t seen it as busy since the cocktail house held its grand opening last July\u00a0\u2014 after the state of Iowa passed a law allowing the distillery to sell alcohol by the glass.

On many weekends, the spots that make up Libations Lane are full of tourists and locals as well as Quad-Citians searching for a small-town escape. That\u2019s how it felt as I sat on the patio and sipped an Old Fashioned that was made at a place inspired by the body of water before me. I listened to a local band play a country song I hadn\u2019t heard in a long time, and I overheard someone ask, \u201cDoes it get better than this?\u201d

From where I was sitting, it doesn't.\u00a0

PHOTOS: THE GREAT RIVER - 400 miles of the Mississippi
PHOTOS: THE GREAT RIVER - 400 miles of the Mississippi
PHOTOS: THE GREAT RIVER - 400 miles of the Mississippi
"}, {"id":"fd85622a-ac53-594d-b84f-e3f86124bab5","type":"article","starttime":"1531418400","starttime_iso8601":"2018-07-12T13:00:00-05:00","sections":[{"entertainment":"entertainment"},{"local":"news/local"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Amanda's picks: 6 things to do this week in the Q-C","url":"http://qctimes.com/entertainment/article_fd85622a-ac53-594d-b84f-e3f86124bab5.html","permalink":"https://qctimes.com/entertainment/amanda-s-picks-things-to-do-this-week-in-the/article_fd85622a-ac53-594d-b84f-e3f86124bab5.html","canonical":"https://qctimes.com/entertainment/amanda-s-picks-things-to-do-this-week-in-the/article_fd85622a-ac53-594d-b84f-e3f86124bab5.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Amanda Hancock\nahancock@qctimes.com","prologue":"1. Whitney Rose at Raccoon MotelAustin, Texas-based singer-songwriter Whitney Rose is coming back to the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel, 304 E. 3rd St., Davenport. She will perform Thursday. Doors open at 6 p.m. and music starts at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance at\u00a0raccoonmotel.com\u00a0and $20 at the door.\u00a0","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":[],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"2e7f0339-64c2-5728-ad3a-8eb12cf80015","description":"Here is a past Live@Five concert, presented by River Music Experience.","byline":"John Schultz, Quad-City Times","hireswidth":3000,"hiresheight":2000,"hiresurl":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/e7/2e7f0339-64c2-5728-ad3a-8eb12cf80015/5b302db5d8ec5.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1763","height":"1175","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/e7/2e7f0339-64c2-5728-ad3a-8eb12cf80015/5b302db5b46db.image.jpg?resize=1763%2C1175"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/e7/2e7f0339-64c2-5728-ad3a-8eb12cf80015/5b302db5b46db.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/e7/2e7f0339-64c2-5728-ad3a-8eb12cf80015/5b302db5b46db.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/2/e7/2e7f0339-64c2-5728-ad3a-8eb12cf80015/5b302db5b46db.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C682"}}}],"revision":5,"commentID":"fd85622a-ac53-594d-b84f-e3f86124bab5","body":"

1. Whitney Rose at Raccoon Motel

Austin, Texas-based singer-songwriter Whitney Rose is coming back to the Triple Crown Whiskey Bar & Raccoon Motel, 304 E. 3rd St., Davenport. She will perform Thursday. Doors open at 6 p.m. and music starts at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $15 in advance at\u00a0raccoonmotel.com\u00a0and $20 at the door.\u00a0

2. 'A Chorus Line'

Get your fix of \"A Chorus Line,\" presented by the Quad-City Music Guild, this weekend. The show, full of familiar tunes such as \"What I Did for Love,\" \u201cI Can Do That\" and \u201cAt the Ballet,\" is set for\u00a07:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday\u00a0at Prospect Park Auditorium in Moline. Tickets are $16 for adults and $11 for kids. For tickets, visit\u00a0qcmusicguild.com.

3. Homebrew Festiv-Ale

Homebrew Festiv-Ale, a homebrewing festival offering plenty of beer samples from more than a dozen area homebrew clubs, is set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Wake Brewing, 2529 5th Ave., Rock Island. Tickets, $20, are on sale at midwestix.com and includes a commemorative tasting glass and 15 sampling tickets.

4. 'Clybourne Park' 

Playcrafters presents \"Clybourne Park,\" a play written as a spin-off to \"A Raisin in the Sun,\" this weekend. See it at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at 4950 35th Ave., Moline as well as next weekend. For tickets, $13, and more info, visit www.playcrafters.com.

5. Live@Five 

It's time for another Live@Five. Check out a free concert outside the River Music Experience on 2nd Street in downtown Davenport featuring Whiskey Motel. Music starts at 5 p.m. To see the full Live@Five lineup, visit rivermusicexperience.org.

6. Camp Euforia 

Back for its 15th year, Camp Euforia is set for Thursday-Saturday in Lone Tree, Iowa. The lineup includes Eufórquestra, a group originally from Iowa City that’s based in Fort Collins, Colorado, The Candymakers, The Maytags and Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts. A pass for Saturday costs $70, a two-day pass costs $100 and a three-day pass costs $125.  For more info, visit campeuforia.com

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As cyclists, runners and rollerbladers breeze by them, two men stand nearly still just a few steps off the busy Mississippi River Trail.

So far on this sunny morning in Leach Park in Bettendorf, the artists say dozens of people have passed by and, depending on their speed, issued a double-take at their set-up, complete with easels, brushes and plenty of paint. Some passersby have asked, \u201cWhat are you guys doing out here?\u201d

David Anderson and Brad Bisbey are out here practicing one of their favorite outdoor exercises: Plein air painting.

Plein air, the French term for outdoors, is a preferred style of painting for these Moline residents.

Anderson and Bisbey, both lifelong painters and instructors, paint weekly at sites such as Credit Island, Sylan Island and Scott County Park.

\u201cI love it,\u201d Bisbey said. \u201cIt\u2019s about getting outside and experiencing it.\u201d

It\u2019s also about finding\u00a0\u2014 and showcasing\u00a0\u2014 the Quad-City area\u2019s natural beauty.

\u201cWe don\u2019t have the mountains or oceans, but what we do have here is beautiful,\u201d Anderson said. \u201cIt\u2019s up to the artist to discover that and show it to people.\u201d

Anderson was a combat artist while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He has made painting more of a priority since he retired in 2010 from Deere & Co.

In previous years, Anderson, who paints outside year-round, has worked on a piece on the course of the TPC at Deere Run in the middle of the John Deere Classic.

He keeps a sketchbook in his car and, if he passes a particularly interesting landscape, or country road, he\u2019ll often pull over to take notes and return to the site later.

\u201cAnything is fair game,\u201d he said. \u201cIf something sends a shiver up my spine, that\u2019s probably a sign I should stop and paint it.\u201d

Anderson and Bisbey are gearing up for the second annual Plein Air Paint Out, set for Saturday, July 21, and presented by Ber\u00e9skin Gallery & Art Academy.

The all-day event invites people to paint outside along the Bettendorf riverfront, anywhere from Leach Park to Bereskin Gallery, 2967 State St., Bettendorf.

About 40 artists are already signed up, including Anderson and Bisbey, and some artists are coming from as far as Chicago and Minnesota, according to gallery owner Pat Bereskin.

\u201cWe live in a beautiful area,\u201d she said. \u201cIt should be recorded to show the quality of life we have around us.\u201d

After discovering Leach Park, Anderson said he might come back here for the event later this month. He imagines painters will be spread out along the bike path because, \u201cSomething different speaks to different artists.\u201d

\u201cThere\u2019s so much I want to paint here,\u201d he said. \u201cYou have to just pick something and go for it. But you can always come back.\u201d

Anderson\u2019s easel is pointed toward construction surrounding the I-74 bridge and his almost-finished painting shows a group of cyclists turning the corner of the bike path coming toward him.

He started this painting a few days ago and returned at the same time of day to replicate the sunlight.

\u201cTo get the full feeling of the environment, you have to be there,\u201d he said. \u201cYou\u2019re using all of your senses and you\u2019re making an emotional connection that hopefully people can see when they look at the final painting.\u201d

Bisbey\u2019s painting is focused on his view of the Mississippi River and a few buildings across the river in Moline. It's a much more inspiring view, he said, than his home studio.\u00a0

\u201cThere\u2019s nothing like being in the exact spot you're painting,\u201d he said. \u201cI like to see and feel the location. It\u2019s something you don\u2019t get from seeing a photo of a place.\u201d

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As far as celebrity encounters go, talking to a professional runner probably wouldn\u2019t excite all that many people.

Well, it depends on who you tell.

After my 20-minute phone call with Joan Benoit Samuelson last week, in which we talked about her love for running and for the Quad-City Times Bix 7, I sent a text to a few of my runner friends hinting, \u201cGuess who I talked to today?\u201d

Replies like, \u201cThat\u2019s awesome! She is so awesome,\u201d came rolling in. One friend sent back these words in all caps: \u201cOh my gosh. That. Is. Amazing.\u201d

Yeah, it is amazing. Because she\u2019s amazing. Samuelson, who won the first-ever women's Olympic Marathon in 1984, is regarded as the greatest female distance runner in American history.

In my close-knit (and slightly nerdy) running community, Samuelson was one of the women we looked up to and learned from. Her name was just one of those you knew and respected.

So, when I saw her statue outside the Quad-City Times building after my first day of reporting here back in January 2016, I thought, \u201cHow cool is that?\u201d I thought it was even cooler when I met Samuelson and got her autograph at the Bix fitness expo later that year.

Although Samuelson lives in Freeport, Maine, she has become a Bix 7 icon and regular participant. During our recent conversation, during which I tried not to fangirl too hard, that\u2019s one of the first things I asked Samuelson about. Why keep coming back to Davenport?

She won the 7-mile race the first time she entered it in 1983 and several other times in the 1980s. In 1987, when she was six months pregnant, she placed 19th with a time of 46:07.

\u201cThe first time I did it, it was just another race on the schedule,\u201d she said. \u201cThe Midwestern hospitality surrounding the race was really special, though, so I kept going back.\u201d

For the last 30-plus years, Samuelson has made the trip to Davenport each summer. On July 28, Samuelson plans to run the Bix for the 32nd time.

\u201cThere\u2019s only a handful of races I go to every year,\u201d she said. \u201cIt\u2019s become a tradition for me and a homecoming of sorts.\u201d

Just over a year after Samuelson won her first Bix, she won gold at the Olympics in Los Angeles in August 1984. How must that have felt, I wondered out loud to Samuelson.

\u201cThe only thing that counted was being part of it,\u201d she said. \u201cIt was all about participating in the first.\u201d

And, Samuelson says she was just \u201con\u201d that day.

\u201cAnd I was lucky,\u201d she said.

As we talked, I couldn\u2019t help but think that 1984 just doesn\u2019t seem that long ago. Or, long enough ago. For the record, the first men\u2019s Olympic marathon was held in 1896.

In her first book, \u201cRunning Tide,\u201d Samuelson wrote about a moment near the end of the marathon, in which passing through a tunnel and about to emerge, in first place, into the Los Angeles Olympic stadium.

\u201cThe noise was muffled and I heard my own footfalls,\u201d she wrote. \u201cI thought, 'Once you leave this tunnel, your life will be changed forever.'\u201d

Because of that race, her life did change. Because of that race and many races after, she became a running legend. And women's distance and competitive running became mainstream. Because of that race, I had female runners to look up to when I was younger.

Samuelson didn\u2019t really have that. She says she was motivated by her peers and competitors like Grete Waitz and Kathrine Switzer.

\u201cThere weren\u2019t many of us around at that time,\u201d she said. \u201cWe were all kind of leading the way for women.\u201d

I remember first seeing Samuelson\u2019s name in a high school running journal that my mom bought suggested I use to keep track of my mileage. On top of one page, this quote by Samuelson appeared, \u201cAs every runner knows, running is about more than just putting one foot in front of the other; it is about our lifestyle and who we are.\u201d

When you get the chance to tell a hero how they\u2019ve impacted you, I think it\u2019s good to take that opportunity. So I told her. And I\u2019m sure it\u2019s the kind of thing Samuelson hears a lot.

\u201cIf I can help somebody improve their life or make their life happier, that\u2019s obviously meaningful,\u201d she said. \u201cI\u2019m just passionate about the sport and if I can bring other people along with me, then that\u2019s an added bonus.\u201d

Samuelson is ultra-competitive, which is why she\u2019s still making big goals for herself even after she told herself she\u2019d retire from competing at 50. Near her 60th birthday last May, Samuelson announced her newest goal: To become the first woman to run a marathon in less than three hours. Samuelson planned to make that attempt during the Chicago Marathon in October, but had to pull out of the race because of an injury.

While Samuelson is still experiencing an injury and cycling more than anything else, she says, \u201cThat still is a goal.

\u201cI\u2019m haunted by that goal,\u201d she said. \u201cI\u2019m not ready to give it up.\u201d

And she has no plans, right now anyway, to slow down.

\u201cI will run until I\u2019m forced not to run,\u201d she said. \u201cIt\u2019s not something I can just walk away from.\u201d

But for Samuelson, like many runners, the sport isn\u2019t just about competing. It\u2019s about all of the everyday, sometimes mundane, miles alone or with a friend. It\u2019s about you and the road and your thoughts and your shoes and the little nudge to push yourself further or faster.

\u201cI love it because it\u2019s my time to think about what\u2019s really important,\u201d she said. \u201cI use it to focus and to organize my day. It\u2019s therapeutic, if you will.\u201d

She also loves running because of the running community.

\u201cThe support runners give each other is really special,\u201d Samuelson said.

That\u2019s certainly been my experience, whether it\u2019s a phone call from a friend who wants to know how my race went or, during one of my occasional unmotivated seasons, a text with instructions to \u201cJust put your shoes on and I\u2019ll meet you outside your door for a few miles.\u201d

That\u2019s just what runners do. We keep each other going.

At the end of our phone call, Samuelson said she was off to go for a bike ride.\u00a0

\u201cRun a few miles for me,\u201d she said, right before goodbye. \u201cAnd I\u2019ll bike some for you.\u201d

Joan Samuelson and the Bix 7
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