Authors of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and more will share their talents and help strenghten the talents of others during the Midwest Writing Center's annual David R. Collins Writers Conference, the June 28 through 30 celebration of the written word boasting workshops, readings, book pitches, short films, and more.

Comic books, video and board games, tournaments, cosplay competitions, and loads of special guests will be on hand when Moline's TaxSlayer Center hosts the June 22 and 23 convention Planet Funk Con: Comic Con 2018, a weekend event housing entertainment and shopping opportunities for connoisseurs and collectors of all ages.

Now celebrating its 34th year as a Father's Day institution, River Action's June 17 Ride the River event invites participants to explore the wilds of four Quad Cities islands on a bi-state tour along riverfront bicycle trails, with special events, giveaways, and more taking place at numerous stops along the journey.

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.

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.

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