An eagerly awaited summertime festival returns to the District of Rock Island on June 9, as this year's celebration of Cajun culture Gumbo Ya Ya treats guests to a veritable Mardi Gras complete with a quartet of electrifying concerts, a French Quarter Marketplace, Cajun cooking, street performers, and, as always, more than 20,000 strands of Mardi Gras beads.

Presented by Quad Cities Fall Pride, QC Pride, the Quad Cities Queer Committee, and numerous other area organizations, businesses, and venues, nearly a dozen events are scheduled in celebration of 2018 Quad Cities Unity Pride Week, which will boast nine days of activities and entertainment including a parade, film screenings, a race through downtown Davenport and, on June 1 and 2, a festival in the Village of East Davenport.

One of the most popular and successful children's-book authors of all time – along with many of his beloved animal, bird, and insect friends – will be celebrated in a new Family Museum exhibition opening May 26, as the Bettendorf venue hosts the touring family delight Very Eric Carle: A Very Hungry, Quiet, Lonely, Clumsy, Busy Exhibit.

Wildlife, history, geology, and more will be explored when River Action hosts presentations in this year's Channel Cat Talks and Riverine Walks – “Explore the River Series” celebrations of the Quad Cities' unique culture and landscape taking place four times weekly from May 29 through September 1.

Hosted by the Quad Cities Bicycle Club and beginning at 9 a.m., an eargerly anticipated Memorial Day tradition returns for its 53rd year in the May 28 Quad Cities Kwik Star Criterium – a Village of East Davenport event featuring hundreds of adult and youth cyclists participating in 12 bicycle races, with over $10,000 in cash prizes awarded throughout the day.

Visitors to Davenport's Putnam Museum & Science Center can learn all about the birds and the bees – and the butterflies, and the moths – in the venue's inaugural Pollinators' Palooza, a May 19 event dedicated to nature's springtime pollinators that will boast presentations, film screenings, and arts & crafts for children.

A revolutionary abolitionist and women's-rights advocate who dedicated her life to the dissemination of knowledge through her writing, newspapers, and school, Mathilde F. Anneke will be the subject of a May 13 presentation at the German American Heritage Center, with author and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee assistant professor Dr. Viktorija Bilić presenting on her work translating the personal correspondence of this German-American Suffragist.

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Midwest Writing Center will host special readings and presentations with two of the most inventive and acclaimed poets of the 21st Century: Jamie Mortara and Gale Marie Thompson, both of whom will participate in the April 27 SPECTRA poetry night at Rozz-Tox and host April 28 workshops at the Midwest Writing Center.

Local cat lovers will get to enjoy an extremely lucky Friday the 13th when television's beloved “Cat Daddy” Jackson Galaxy visits the Adler Theatre on April 13 – the latest national-tour stop for the bestselling author and popular host of Animal Planet's My Cat from Hell and Cat Vs Dog.

Held in conjunction with the 76th anniversary of one of history's most daring and controversial episodes of espionage, Kirkwood Community College professors Dr. Robinson Yost and Dr. Laura Yost deliver their April 8 presentation “Bringing Down the Butcher of Prague: The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich” at Davenport's German American Heritage Center, offering insight into the killing of one of World War II's foremost Nazi officials.

Pages