Mark Johns of the Backwater Bayou Band plays the washboard during the 2018 Gumbo Ya Ya festival. The band returns this year.

Gumbo Ya Ya returns to downtown Rock Island today. Gates open at 4 p.m. Admission is $10, $5 after 10:30 p.m., and free admission for kids under 12.

One of the Quad-Cities' longest-running street festivals, Gumbo Ya Ya will feature new events this year, including free horse and carriage rides throughout downtown; outdoor dueling pianos set in the Voodoo Lounge, and a performance by Josh Hoyer, a finalist on NBC’s "The Voice," Season 12.

Music will be on the outdoor stage from 4:30 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., featuring four different bands, Cajun and Creole food will be available, a French Quarter marketplace filled with vendors, and more than 20,000 Mardi Gras beads will be tossed into the crowd.

This weekend’s merchants are inspired by the French Quarter Marketplace in New Orleans. Official Gumbo Ya Ya T-shirts and other Mardi Gras accessories (masks, specialty beads, etc.) are available for purchase. Merchants will sell clothing, accessories, and jewelry. Novelties will include psychics, airbrush tattoos, and street performers.

The night's music lineup includes the Backwater Bayou Band (4:30-5:15 p.m., 5:30-6:15 p.m.), Dikki Du and The Zydeco Krewe (6:30-8 p.m.), "The Voice" finalist Josh Hoyer & Soul Colossal (8:15-9:45 p.m.), Jack Brass Band (10-11 p.m., 11:15-12:15 a.m.), and dueling pianos from 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m., and 8:30-10 p.m.

Horse and carriage rides will be offered on the pedestrian plaza, at the corner of 2nd Avenue and 19th Street.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Daiquiri Factory, 309-786-1016, or paid at the gate. No coolers are allowed inside of premises.

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