Hosted by River Action and themed “Our Watershed: Working Together for Healthy Waters and Flood-Resilient Communities,” the 11th-annual Upper Mississippi River Conference will be held at Moline's Stoney Creek Inn Convention Center on October 24 and 25, an event focusing on floodplain issues facing the Mississippi River watershed that covers all or part of 31 states in the nation.

A fun, safe, and eagerly anticipated Halloween event for families returns to the area on October 27, as the District of Rock Island hosts the 2018 Fright Night in the District, an evening boasting trick-or-treating, a scavenger hunt, a costume contest, and more presented by Modern Woodmen of America, Rock Island Parks & Recreation, the Rock Island County Project, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa & Western Illinois, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center.

Presenting an address on the importance of “Making Words Count,” Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander serves as the keynoate speaker for the Midwest Writing Center's fall fundraiser Celebration of the Literary Arts 2018, an October 25 even held at Moline's CityView Celebrations that will also boast a buffet dinner, cashg bar, 50/50 raffle, and the presentation of the annual David R. Collins Literary Achievement Award.

Arriving at Moline's Spotlight Theatre just in time for Halloween, the professional dancers of Ballet Quad Cities will stage choreographer Deanna Carter's adaptation of Bram Stoker's classic horror novel Dracula on October 19 and 20, with the notorious count portrayed by international dance star Domingo Rubio and performances preceded by the debuting vignettes of Frankenstein's Follies.

Heroic women, both fictional and real, will be celebrated in the Putnam Museum & Science Center's avidly anticipated Literary Heroines: Their Times, Their Fashions – an October 13 through January 4 exhibition notable not only for its breadth of clothing and period items from the museum's permanent collection, but for being the rare area exhibit that isn't making a local appearance as part of a larger national or international tour. As Putnam President and CEO Kim Findlay says, “We didn't find it – we created it.”

Making an eagerly awaited stop at the Adler Theatre in support of his most recent album Here Comes the Truth – the inspiration for the performer's 2017 Netflix special – comedian and singer/songwriter Rodney Carrington brings his standup and vocal talents to Davenport on October 12, sharing the country-themed gifts that have made him an internationally touring crowd favorite and platinum-selling recording artist.

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of hearing my colleague at St. Ambrose University, Marian Lee and her musical cohort pound out some fantastic French music – sophisticated, complex and still relevant. Interpreting that music, your dancers were absolutely impressive – detailed, crisp, upbeat, easily avoiding any camp in the rompier moments and conveying some profoundly human material with their silent bodies. I’m in love with them!

Fencing battles, sword fights, wandering minstrels, and all manner of Medieval fun will be on hand at the third-annual Quad Cities Renaissance Faire, the September 29 and 30 festival at Davenport's Credit Island Park that sets up camp in Iowa after two successive years in Illinois, and promises multiple stages of live entertainment, unique merchandise in the village marketplace, and food, drinks, and snacks galore.

Unexpected, dark, and even horrific sides of Scott County history are currently being explored in a 2018 book by John Brassard Jr., and on September 23, the Eastern Iowa author will visit Davenport's German American Heritage Center in order to share real-life tales from his historical offering Murder & Mayhem in Scott County, Iowa.

An eagerly awaited autumnal tradition will get the blood pumping on September 22 and 23, as the weekend brings with it the Moline TaxSlayer Center's Active Endeavors Health & Fitness Expo on September 22 followed by the annual Quad Cities Marathon, presented by TBK Bank, on September 23, the latter a Boston Marathon qualifier and the only such event in the country to incorporate fave races, four cities, three brides, two states, and one island.

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