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What's Happenin': Summer 2013 PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 14 May 2013 06:00

Joe Louis WalkerMusic

Joe Louis Walker

The Redstone Room

Friday, May 24, 8 p.m.


Blues, soul, and gospel musician Joe Louis Walker, who plays Davenport’s Redstone Room on May 24, was born on December 25, 1949. If you’re hip to the man’s talents through recordings, concerts, or TV appearances, I think you’ll agree that we all got a Christmas present that day.

Born in San Francisco, singer/songwriter/guitarist Walker was a popular fixture in the Bay area music scene by his late teens, having already performed alongside the legendary likes of John Lee Hooker, Thelonious Monk, Muddy Waters, and Jimi Hendrix before the age of 20. After earning degrees in music and English from San Francisco State University, Walker spent nearly a decade immersed in gospel as a member of The Spiritual Corinthians Gospel Quartet, and returned to the blues for his 1966 solo debut Cold Is the Night. That album’s release might mark the last time anything about Walker’s professional career or popularity involved the word “cold.”

Nominated in four categories – including Best Contemporary Blues Male Artist and the prestigious B.B. King Entertainer of the Year Award – at this year's Blues Music Awards, Walker is a previous recipient of three such prizes, and was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame this past March. His 21 albums to date have found him collaborating with such talents as Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, and Tower of Power, and the artist has toured extensively throughout Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Ireland, Turkey, and Brazil. His electrifying stage presence and impassioned musicianship have earned Walker plaudits from critics nationwide; Blues Revue calls him “one of contemporary blues’ most dynamic and innovative musicians,” and Blurt magazine describes him as “a phenomenal guitarist, a singer with a warm, soulful voice, a solid songwriter, and a dynamic showman.” And Walker not only assisted Bill Clinton when the president inducted B.B. King at the Kennedy Center Honors, but also performed at President George W. Bush’s 2001 inauguration, meaning that Walker’s not just a supporter of the blues; he’s also a supporter of the reds. (By which I mean Republicans. Not Communists. Just to be clear.)

Joe Louis Walker’s Redstone Room concert features an opening set by Nick & the Ovorols, and more information on the night is available by calling (563)326-1333 or visiting



Steve ForbertMusic

Steve Forbert


Saturday, May 18, 8 p.m.


Regarding the low-key instrumental arrangements and lyrical subtlety in his 2012 CD Over with You – an album that American Songwriter called “lovely, melancholy, lyrically moving, and beautifully performed” – the venerated pop and folk artist Steve Forbert described his musical approach in four simple words: “I’m not Lady Gaga.” Consequently, those of you who show up at Rozz-Tox on May 18 sporting monster claws and meat dresses, I’m sorry to say, will be sorely disappointed.

The rest of you, though, are sure to enjoy a fantastic night of Americana tunes at the Rock Island venue, where Forbert will perform selections from a lauded career that has resulted in induction into the Mississippi Music Hall of Fame, a Grammy Award nomination, and 14 studio albums (plus nine live ones and six compilation CDs) to date.

Most familiar for 1980’s “Romeo’s Tune” – the Jackrabbit Slim single that reached number 11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart – guitarist/vocalist Forbert’s man-of-the-people directness and emotionally resonant lyrics have earned him comparisons to Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen. Artists including Roseanne Cash, Keith Urban, and Webb Wilder, meanwhile, have recorded songs written by Forbert, and you can likely also count Cyndi Lauper as a fan, considering that the man played her boyfriend in the “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” video.

But the best way to get a sense of the musician is, of course, through his own music, a discography filled with thoughtful, personal, incisive, and richly tuneful offerings that both fans and critics have swooned over for more than 35 years., for instance, states that Forbert “is a wonderful songwriter with a clear and sharply observed vision of how life in the heart unfolds and reveals itself with the passage of time.”

And, in praising Over with You, writes of Forbert’s songwriting prowess: “He couches his sharp-tongued little barbs carefully in pretty, melodic sheaths that slide in easily, so you don’t realize you’re cut until you start to feel faint from blood loss.” So, to recap: Monster claws and meat dresses on May 18? No. Rubbing alcohol and a tourniquet? Maybe.

For more information on Steve Forbert’s local concert, call (309)200-0978 or visit





Rock Island Brewing Company

Friday, May 17, 8 p.m.


On May 17, the Rock Island Brewing Company hosts an evening with the hard-rock and alternative-metal musicians of Trapt, an ensemble that began with four high-school friends hanging out after school and ended up as a platinum-selling success story. My high-school friends and I could’ve gone that route, too, but unfortunately, there’s no platinum demarcation for number of comic books read or Asteroids games played over a single weekend.

Formed in Los Gatos, California, in 1997, Trapt’s original members began playing local venues before any of them ventured off to college, and were even opening for fellow up-and-comer Papa Roach in 1998. Proceeds from their independently released Amalgamation and Glimpse, which the band sold before live shows, were strong enough to catch the attention of Warner Bros. Records, the company that distributed the group’s self-titled studio-debut CD in 2002. And with that release – and particularly the number-one-ranking performances of singles “Headstrong” and “Still Frame” on the U.S. Mainstream Rock charts – Trapt’s platinum-selling popularity was certified.

With a few changes in the group’s original lineup (though vocalist Chris Taylor Brown and bass player Peter Charell have been with the band from its very beginning), Trapt has since gone on to record five additional studio albums, with the most recent three – among them this past January’s Reborn – all landing in the top 10 on Billboard’s U.S. Independent Albums charts. Trapt’s touring gigs, meanwhile, have found its musicians traveling the country, and the globe, alongside such notable acts as Mötley Crüe, Buckcherry, Hinder, Three Days Grace, and Nickelback.

Yet while such singles as “Stand Up,” “Waiting,” “Echo,” “Contagious,” and “Who’s Going Home with You Tonight?” all charted in the top 20 of Billboard’s U.S. Mainstream Rock rankings, you’ll probably also hear a number of other familiar Trapt tunes during the band’s RIBCO gig. Songs such as “Disconnected,” for instance. And “Love/Hate Relationship.” And “Sound Off,” and “Drama Queen,” and “End of My Rope,” and ... .

And that list reminds me that I’m late for a staff meeting.

Trapt performs with opening sets by Eleven Fifty Two and Shadow Stone, and further information on the evening is available by calling (309)793-4060 or visiting



Heritage DaysEvent

Heritage Days

Walnut Grove Pioneer Village

Sunday, May 27, and Monday, May 28, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Do you ever wish you could travel back to the late 1800s? You know, back before tweeting and IM-ing and losing hours upon hours of workdays to the reading of hilarious Facebook memes that your friends have posted with kitties saying all sorts of inappropriate ... ?

Uh ... that’s purely speculative on my part. I swear. I never do such things. (Man, I’ve got to remember that my boss does occasionally read these articles ... .)

Well, if you’re looking to take a blast to the past over Memorial Day Weekend, you’ll be able to do it in period style at the Walnut Grove Pioneer Village, where this year’s annual Heritage Days festival will be held May 27 and 28. With costumed staffers demonstrating folk art and selling their wares, the weekend will include presentations on blacksmithing, basket-weaving, broom-making, quilting, candle-dipping, weaving, and pioneer cooking, while entertainment will come via musicians John and Kay Retzl, the Blue Chip Band, the QC Cloggers, Wapsi Wrangler gun shows, and a great many children’s games and crafts.

It’s all designed to give attendees a true sense of heartland life during those pioneer days when, as we all know, goods and services were far less expensive than they are today ... even less expensive than Heritage Days’ mere $2 entrance fee! To get in the mood for your time-travel weekend at Walnut Grove, try matching the following items to what they would roughly cost (based on a survey) at the turn of the 20th century:



1) Beef

2) Butter

3) Capons

4) Chocolate

5) Coffee

6) Sausage


A) 10 cents/pound

B) 12 cents/pound

C) 16 cents/pound

D) 25 cents/pound

E) 34 cents/pound

F) 35 cents/pound



The Heritage Days festival is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday, and more information on the weekend is available by calling (563)328-3283 or visiting



Answers: 1 – A, 2 – D, 3 – C, 4 – E, 5 – F, 6 – B. That means you could get a pound of each for a buck and a half total. And make something that subsequently tastes re-e-e-eally disgusting.



Kenny Wayne ShepherdMusic

Mississippi Valley Blues Festival

LeClaire Park

Thursday, July 4, through Saturday, July 6


For the first time in years, one of our area’s largest and most eagerly awaited summertime festivals gets underway beginning on the Fourth of July, and the timing of the event begs the question: What’s the point in saluting the red and the white when there’s all this blues to celebrate? Taking place in Davenport’s LeClaire Park through July 6, the three-day Mississippi Valley Blues Festival will once again showcase this great American music genre through numerous workshops and children’s BlueSkool activities, among them a blues-photography workshop led by David Horwitz and an introduction to the blues harmonica – with free instruments and lessons for the kids – presented by David Berntson. Evocative artworks in the Mississippi Valley Blues Society 16th-annual photo exhibit will, from 1 to 6:30 p.m. daily, be on display at the park’s neighboring Freight House. And, of course, there will be scorching and soulful blues tunes galore, courtesy of the more than two dozen national and local artists performing on two LeClaire Park stages. Thursday’s roster includes sets with the Selwyn Birchwood Band, Kevin “B.F.” Burt, Howard & the White Boys, the Westbrook Singers, Eddie “Devil Boy” Turner & the Trouble Twins, Davina & the Vagabonds, the Chris O’Leary Band, Walter Trout, and Southern Hospitality with Victor Wainwright, J.P. Soars, and Damon Fowler. Friday brings with it performances by Jimmy Nick & Don’t Tell Mama, Scottie Miller, Samantha Fish, Anthony Gomes, John Primer, Mighty Sam McClain, and the River Music Experience’s Winter Blues Allstars, plus the to-be-named winners of the 2013 Mississippi Valley Blues Challenge. And Saturday’s concert lineup features Toby Walker, The 44s, Ironing Board Sam & Ardie Dean, W.C. Clark, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band. So get ready for some spectacular musicianship over the Fourth of July weekend and, in the process, deep insight into what the blues is all about – which the famed blues artist Leon Redbone once simplified as “nothing but a good man feeling bad.” Please don’t tell that to Davina or Samantha, though, or they might just head home. For more information on the 2013 Mississippi Valley Blues Festival call (563)322-5837 or visit



Josh DuffeeMusic

Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival

Downtown Davenport

Thursday, August 1, through Sunday, August 4


As is stated on the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Society’s Web site, this summer’s Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival – our area’s annual celebration of the legendary jazz musician and Quad Cities native – will take place in several downtown-Davenport venues from August 1 through 4. If you check out the four-day event’s concert lineup, however, you’ll notice something interesting: It kicks off with a Thursday-afternoon Andy Schumm & His Flatland Gang set at the Putnam Museum, which technically isn’t in downtown Davenport, and ends with an Andy Schumm & His Flatland Gang set at Jim’s Knoxville Tap, which not only isn’t in downtown Davenport (it’s in Milan, Illinois), but which is hosting the band on August 5, the day after the festival officially ends. Man, that Andy’s a bit of a rebel, huh? Of course, with calling him “the heroic young man of jazz,” and raving about Schumm’s “smooth and blues-drenched cornet,” he’s also a fantastic musical talent, which puts him in line with all the other exceptional jazz acts you’ll be treated to in this year’s Bix Fest. With additional Sunday performances held at Davenport’s Radisson Hotel and First Presbyterian Church, concerts will be held at the city’s Adler Theatre, RiverCenter, and LeClaire Park, the latter of which will host free evening sets on Friday and Saturday. And with Schumm and company the figurative tip of the festival’s jazz iceberg, this greatly anticipated summertime happening will also showcase the exhilarating stylings of more than a dozen other national and local acts: Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers, Dan Levinson’s Roof Garden Jass Band, Josh Duffee’s Graystone Ballroom Orchestra, Randy Sandke’s New York All-Stars, The Jimmy Valentine Quintet with Dave Bennett, The Five Bridges Jazz Band, The Tony Hamilton Orchestra, The River City 6, The Manny Lopez Quartet, The Bix Beiderbecke Youth Jazz Band, Jon Weber, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and Bob Schulz’s Frisco Jazz Band. I should probably mention that despite the spelling of our last names, Bob Schulz is in no way related to me, though we do have a lot in common. Bob, after all, is an acclaimed jazz-trumpet player with exquisite rhythm, timing, finesse, and professional accolades, and I’m ... . Well ... . Um ... . You noticed the spelling of our names, right? For more information on the 2013 Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, call (563)324-7170 or visit



Matchbox 20Events

i wireless Center

May through July


It’s summertime in the Quad Cities, folks! What say we hightail it to Chicago? Wait, wait ... that came out wrong. I’m not suggesting that we all vacation in the Windy City for the next three months. I am, however, advocating a night with the multi-platinum-selling musicians of the band Chicago, which will play the i wireless Center on June 17, performing smashes such as “You’re the Inspiration,” “Hard to Say I’m Sorry,” and “If You Leave Me Now.” These timeless pop-rockers will surely add some sizzle to the Moline venue’s seasonal lineup, and that roster will also be given a hearty injection of R&B, soul, and gospel music via the May 18 concert with Dru Hill, whose “In My Bed,” “Never Make a Promise,” and “How Deep Is Your Love” all hit number one on Billboard’s R&B charts. A top-of-the-heap legend from an earlier generation is set to thrill Quad Citians on June 7, when Motown icon and Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Smokey Robinson performs from his expansive solo and group repertoire that includes “Shop Around,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “I Second That Emotion,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” and “Tears of a Clown.” (Such a successful guy, so many tears ... .) [Author's note: On May 15, it was announced that Robinson's Moline concert was cancelled due to a scheduling conflict.] Tired of chart-toppers yet? Let’s hope not, because the i wireless Center has even more of them on the docket. July 10 brings with it a combined touring concert set featuring the rockers of Matchbox 20, whose 2012 release North debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 rankings, and the Goo Goo Dolls, whose 1998 smash “Iris” was listed as number one on Billboard’s “Top 100 Pop Songs 1992-2012.” And while the piece, to my knowledge, never landed at the top of any Billboard chart, you’ll probably soon be hearing a lot of “Pomp & Circumstance” in Moline, as the i wireless Center also houses a septet of graduation ceremonies, for students of Black Hawk College (May 16), Augustana College (May 19), Pleasant Valley and Rock Island High Schools (May 26), and Davenport North, West, and Central high schools (June 2). Granted, those may not qualify as musical events, but I’m betting that more than a few parents there will be singing a chorus of “Ha-a-a-a-allelujah!” For more information on the i wireless Center’s summertime happenings, visit



Here Come the MummiesEvents

Outdoor Festivals and Events

District of Rock Island

May through September


This summer’s outdoor happenings in the District of Rock Island begin with May 18’s Heart Walk 2013, a Saturday-morning jaunt along a one- or three-mile route sponsored by the American Heart Association. If, like this city resident, you spend an inordinate amount of time in Rock Island during the summer season, I highly recommend giving your ticker a workout during the walk, because that might be the only way it’ll survive three-plus months of hugely invigorating District events. Memorial Day weekend brings with it RIBCO’s annual outdoor concerts featuring the disco dynamos of The Travoltas – performing with openers Just Chords on May 25 and The Premium Sellouts on May 26 – before the District streets clear on Monday for the bicycle-racing excitement of 2013’s Quad Cities Criterium. Cajun culture will again be celebrated with the soulful music, tasty cuisine, and multi-colored beads of the Gumbo Ya Ya festival (June 7 and 8), while circular objects will whiz through the air at intense velocities in the Daiquiri Factory’s 9th Annual Dodgeball Showdown (June 15). The Daiquiri Factory’s annual Rock the District concerts, meanwhile, will boast headliners Here Come the Mummies (and guests The Brat Pack) on June 28 and Theory of a Deadman (with openers 3 Years Hollow, Candlelight Red, and 3 Pill Morning) on June 29, while fireworks of a less musical nature grace the sky in July 3’s annual Fourth of July celebration Red, White, & Boom! The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the Caribbean will fill the District when Rock Island hosts numerous bands and vendors in 2013’s Ya Maka My Weekend festival, taking place August 9 and 10. Labor Day weekend finds the 9th Annual Labor Day Ride for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (August 31) occurring in tandem with the kart-racing enjoyment of the annual Rock Island Grand Prix (August 31 and September 1). And if you’re feeling the desire for a smooth summertime (adult) beverage, you can certainly get your fill through the dozens of products and vendors associated with RIBCO’s Fourth-Annual River City Beer “Festiv-ale” (exact date TBD). Too bad for me there’s no Liver Walk 2013. For more on the District of Rock Island’s summertime events, call (309)788-6311 or visit



Jake OwenEvents

Outdoor Festivals and Events


June through August


The River Cities’ Reader offices are located in Davenport. I will therefore attempt to tell you about the numerous outdoor festivals and annual events taking place in Davenport this summer in a measured, neutral tone that doesn’t suggest I’m promoting our paper’s home city with undue favoritism. On June 1 and 2, GLBT culture will be celebrated in the streets with the musicians, artisans, and vendors of QC Pridefest, taking place in Davenport’s Rainbow District at Second and Warren streets. From June 12 through 15, the 19th Annual Rally on the River will gather motorcycle enthusiasts at Centennial Park for demonstrations, contests, and concerts with dozens of area rockers. Commemorating the announcement of slavery’s abolition, this year’s Juneteenth Festival will bring historical presentations, children’s activities, and live entertainment to LeClaire Park on June 24. Fans of fireworks are invited to celebrate the Fourth of July one day early, when LeClaire Park and Modern Woodmen Park co-host Davenport’s annual family event Red, White, & Boom! on July 3. LeClaire Park also hosts three days of music and children’s workshops in this year’s Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, taking place July 4 through 6, while Centennial Park welcomes the touring country-music performers – Kellie Pickler, Rodney Atkins, and Darius Rucker among them – of the Heartland Jam on July 19 and 20. Downtown Davenport’s annual Bix Weekend boasts the worldwide long-distance runners taking part in July 27’s 2013 Bix 7 Race and on July 26 and 27 the local musicians, craftspeople, and vendors at the 42nd Annual Street Festival. The Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds will host its annual Mississippi Valley Fair July 30 through August 4, with this year’s nightly concert headliners including Toby Keith, Josh Turner, Dwight Yoakam, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Diamond Rio, and Jake Owen. And Davenport’s August concludes musically in the venues hosting this year’s Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival from August 1 through 4, and in LeClaire Park, where famed roots musicians will headline 2013’s River Roots Live on August 16 and 17. So that’s Davenport’s outdoor-event season. And I think you’ll agree that it promises to be nothing less than the most spectacular, unforgettable three months of outdoor events that humankind has ever known, all taking place in the most magical city on God’s green Earth. (What? That was measured and neutral! I didn’t use italics!) For more on Davenport’s summer festivals and events, call (563)322-1706 or visit



What Else Is Happenin' ...? : Thursday, May 16, through Wednesday, May 29




Friday, May 17 – Terrance Simien & the Zydeco Experience. Concert celebration of Creole culture with the Afro-Caribbean funk-reggae ensemble, in a Hancher Auditorium presentation. Iowa City Ped Mall (14 South Clinton Street, Iowa City). 6:30 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (319)335-1160 or visit

Saturday, May 18 – Dru Hill. R&B, soul, and gospel musicians in concert. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 9 p.m. $25-40. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Saturday, May 18 – Deadstring Brothers. Detroit-based alt-country and rock band in concert, with an opening set by Fifth of Country. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 9 p.m. $6. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit For a 2012 interview with the Deadstring Brothers’ Kurt Marschke, visit

Saturday, May 18 – Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience. Rock-and-roll show with touring Holly interpreter Billy McGuigan. Ohnward Fine Arts Center (1215 East Platt Street, Maquoketa). 7 p.m. $13-25. For information and tickets, call (563)652-9815 or visit

Sunday, May 19 – The Bill Bell Trio. Jazz ensemble performs and educates as part of Polyrhythms’ Third Sunday Jazz series. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 3 p.m. all-ages jazz workshop ($5/adult, free for children), 6 p.m. concert ($10-15). For tickets and information, call (309)373-0790 or visit or

Sunday, May 19 – Hot Club of Cowtown. Austin, Texas-based Western-swing trio in concert. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 7 p.m. $20-25. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit

Thursday, May 23 – Yo La Tengo. Concert with independent musicians Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $25. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or visit

Friday, May 24 – Rick Springfield. Concert with the chart-topping pop singer of “Love Somebody” and “Jessie’s Girl.” Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center (1777 Isle Parkway, Bettendorf). 7:30 p.m. $30-40. For information, call (800)724-5825 or visit

Friday, May 24 – KISS Army. The costumed tribute musicians in an outdoor concert, with an opening set by Wes Weeber’s Brokeass Sellouts. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $10. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit

Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26 – The Travoltas. Annual Memorial Day weekend outdoor concerts with the ’80s tribute band, featuring opening sets by Just Chords on Saturday and the Premium Sellouts on Sunday. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $10-12. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit



Friday, May 24, through Sunday, May 26 – America Assassination. Journey Live Production and writer/director Curtis B. Lewis present an inside look into an urban community where characters share stories through up-tempo rhythms, music, humor, and poetry. Davenport Junior Theatre (2822 Eastern Avenue, Davenport). Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 3 and 7:30 p.m., Sunday 6 p.m. $10-15. For information and tickets, call (309)716-4662 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Friday, May 24, and Saturday, May 25 – The Chronicles of Lincoln & Grant. Historical program co-written, co-produced, and performed by Tom Swenson and Dan Haughey, with a Q&A following. District Theatre (1611 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (309)235-1654 or visit



Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19 – Bishop Hill Quilt Show. Weekend event featuring quilting displays, demonstrations, raffles, door prizes, quilting challenges, a Trash & Treasures Corner, and more. Bishop Hill Colony School (405 West Main Street, Bishop Hill). Friday and Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. $4. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Friday, May 17, through Sunday, May 19 – Dubuquefest Fine Arts Festival. The 36th-annual juried fine-art fair features the work of 85 artists and artisans from across the region, plus live musicians, vendors, children’s activities, and more. Washington Park and Town Clock Plaza (890 Main Street, Dubuque). Free admission. For information, call (563)564-5290 or visit



Friday, May 17, through Saturday, May 25 – Bottoms Up Burlesque: Komic Kahn. Comic-book-themed performances with the area burlesque artists and comedians. Circa ’21 Speakeasy (1818 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Saturday and Sunday 8 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit For an interview with emcee Josh Kahn, visit

Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18 – French Market Days. Weekend activities include a jewelry-making class, wine-garden event, terrarium class, afternoon tea, glass-garden crafts, the Fashion Plate Pet Contest, and more. Downtown LeClaire. Events beginning at 10 a.m. For information, call (563)289-4242 extension 1135 or visit

Saturday, May 18 – St. Ambrose University Wine Festival. Annual scholarship fundraiser on the lawn features samplings of 120 wines from around the world and culinary highlights from a number of Quad Cities restaurants. St. Ambrose University (518 West Locust Street, Davenport). 3-6 p.m. $45. For tickets and information, call (563)333-6290 or visit

Saturday, May 25, through Monday, May 27 – Iowa Renaissance Festival. Annual celebration of European history and world culture features 200 costumed characters, 55 artisan merchants, five stages of entertainment, three living-history encampments, a beer garden and wine, a food court, demonstrations, hands-on activities, an equestrian jousting tournament, and more. Amana Park (off 220 Trail on 27th Avenue, Amana). 11 a.m.-6 p.m. $6-10. For information, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit

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Notable Events 30