The weekend of June 2 will be a big one for Bettendorf in bountiful ways.

The Iowa QC city will be celebrating a groundbreaking for its new waterpark, the city’s 120th birthday and an annual downtown free festival. Behold the details –

Friday, June 2nd at 9 a.m.:

Bettendorf will begin its day-long 120th Birthday Community Celebration with a groundbreaking at The Landing, at the corner of 23rd Street and Middle Road. The event will include remarks by Bettendorf Mayor Bob Gallagher, YMCA of the Iowa Mississippi Valley Board Chair Mo Hyder, RDG Planning & Design, and General Constructors, Inc. – which was chosen by Bettendorf City Council in early May 2023 to build a large component of this multi-million dollar project.

The city of Bettendorf has a public campaign to raise money (without a specific goal) to help secure a $750,000 state grant for The Landing.

“This is going to be a historical day for the city of Bettendorf!” Mayor Bob Gallagher said in a Friday release. “Bettendorf Middle Pool was a true hot spot for many of us who grew up here and was later renamed to Splash Landing. It’s time for a new chapter and for the next generation of kids and families in the Quad Cities to have a state-of-the-art facility they deserve.”

The Landing is made up of two amenities – a state-of-the-art aquatic facility and a permanent ice rink. The first component under construction is the $18-million aquatic facility, which will be built in two phases to ensure the project can be successfully completed within the established budget while maintaining all the features that were presented to the community:

Phase 1: Large Activity Pool & 4 Supporting Buildings Construction Starts May 2023 – Completion Date May 2024

The 12,500-square-foot activity pool includes a zero-depth entry with a spray feature, ninja-style ropes course, lap lanes, and a diving well with two diving boards and two climbing walls.

Phase 2: Slide Tower, Lazy River, Spray Pad Construction Starts September 2024 – Completion Goal May 2025

The other features of the aquatic facility include a three-story-high slide tower with three slides, a 430-foot-long lazy river, and a 3,700-square-foot splash pad.

Following the completion of the aquatic facility, work will begin on the permanent ice rink. This amenity includes an outdoor ice rink that will be utilized in the winter with the ability to be converted to a turf field in the off-season for community events like concerts, picnics, and movies – all of which will accentuate the fun and excitement taking place at the aquatic facility, the city release said.

Several components of the ice rink are being built as part of the aquatic facility contract with GCI due to shared spaces and other construction efficiencies, bringing the total value of GCI’s contract to $19.6 million.

Work on the ice rink could be included in an amendment to Phase 2 of the aquatic facility, or it may be bid separately depending on construction staging and pricing.

“We are excited to get to work on this milestone project,” said city administrator Decker Ploehn. “We are so grateful for the financial support shown to The Landing by the YMCA, the Scott County Regional Authority, the Regional Development Authority, the Bechtel Trust, and Scott County. Without them, this project would not be possible.”

Big birthday party

As the shovels hit the ground for The Landing, events will be starting up in every corner of town to celebrate the city’s 120th birthday. From deals and discounts to free food, special tours, and even a bounce house obstacle course – community members can find a full list of all the festivities taking place online HERE.

The city’s 120th birthday honors June 5, 1903, when Gilbert, Iowa incorporated under a new name of “Bettendorf” after two brothers — William Bettendorf and Joseph Bettendorf — relocated their railroad car factory called the Bettendorf Company to prime riverfront property, paying only $100 for the land.

Mayor Bob will be making stops all day long in a customized birthday vehicle and will be streaming those visits live on Bettendorf’s Facebook page HERE.

At 3:30 p.m., there will be a one-hour party at Faye’s Field, located near the Family Museum and Bettendorf Public Library. There will be live music, activities for kids, a ginormous birthday card for everyone to sign, and more. NOTE: Faye’s Field hosts the annual summer concert series, running June 1 to Aug. 10 this summer.

Mayor Bob Gallagher, right, and assistant city administrator Jeff Reiter explain the festivities (at Faye’s Field outside the public library) in a video on the Bettendorf Facebook page.

At 5 p.m., The Tangled Wood (3636 Tanglewood Road) is holding a music festival, where all five breweries in Bettendorf – Crawford, Twin Span, 5 Cities, Adventurous, and Nerdspeak – are relaunching the special brews they created for Zip Code Day in 2022 (5/27/22) and returning for a Tap Takeover.

Overflow parking will be available at Crow Creek Park and the city will be providing golf cart shuttle service to and from The Tangled Wood.

Be Downtown

Downtown Bettendorf Organization will present “Be Downtown,” a free outdoor event, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, June 3, at the 15th St. Landing (15th St. and State St.) – presented by Ascentra Credit Union and the Bettendorf Business Network. This family-friendly event will feature live music, food trucks, multiple bags tournaments with cash prizes, children’s activities and more.

Beginning at noon, live music will be provided in two-hour sets throughout the day by area bands Doug Brundies, Threat Level Midnight, Panic River Band and Diplomats of Solid Sound. Late night live music will continue at three downtown Bettendorf businesses – Harley Corin’s, Purgatory’s Pub and Riverside Grille.

Bettendorf held its “Be Downtown” festival on Saturday, June 4, 2022 (

Verde, a contemporary Mexican restaurant located at The Bridges, will offer food and an outdoor bar for alcohol and other beverage sales. Food trucks will serve food from noon to 6 p.m. including Quick E’s Tacos, Schaa-Bo’s Korean Fusion, Smokin Goodness BBQ and Sweet Tooth Snacks.

The K&K Family Fun Zone will run from noon to 6 p.m. and have bounce houses, bubble stations and a hands-on science station by Absolute Science.

New this year at Be Downtown, the DBO will partner with 4 City Cornhole for two or three separate bags tournaments sponsored by Isle Casino Hotel and MidAmerican Energy.

Tournaments will be held at noon and 3 p.m. with a possible third tournament beginning at 6 p.m. Cash prizes will be awarded for first place ($300), second ($200) and third places ($100). There is no cost to enter. Registration will be on-site one hour prior to each tournament. Players should download the ScoreHolio app and get there early to register. 

Parking for the event includes on-street parking on State and Grant Streets plus at multiple lots in downtown Bettendorf, including:

  • 15th St. and Grant St. (TBK Bank building lot) available after 1 p.m.)
  • 18th St. and Mississippi St. (Asbury Methodist Church lot)
  • 18th St. and Grant St. (City of Bettendorf lot)
  • Bettendorf City Hall
  • Former Village Inn parking lot at 1210 State St.
  • Motorcycle parking on 15th St. will be available.

For more information, visit the Downtown Bettendorf Organization website HERE.

One more thing!

That weekend of June 2 also kicks off Bettendorf’s series of free movies in the park. Here is that schedule —

  • June 3rd: “Minions: The Rise of Gru” (Sponsored by The Tangled Wood)
  • June 10th: “Sonic the Hedgehog 2″ (Sponsored by The Friends of Bettendorf Parks Foundation)
  • June 17th: “Lightyear” (Sponsored by K&K Hardware)
  • June 24th: “DC League of Super-Pets” (Sponsored by Blackhawk Bank & Trust)

All movies are free and shown at Veterans Memorial Park starting at 9 p.m.