On the same day the Davenport West High School and Bettendorf High School football teams face off on the field, a celebration will happen along the riverfront where the two cities team up.

On Friday, Sept. 1st at 10 a.m., the West Falcons and Bettendorf Bulldogs from their respective welding departments will reveal bike racks they designed and built for downtown Davenport and downtown Bettendorf.

The Mississippi River Trail in Davenport, near the Centennial Bridge.

The event will take place on the Mississippi River Trail (MRT), where the two Iowa cities meet, which is a symbolic location for this special project, according to a city of Bettendorf release Tuesday. Photos of the new racks are not available until they are revealed Sept. 1.

“We’re ultimately celebrating our talented youth and the full-circle connection to our business community, the ability to grow our own talent in the Quad Cities, and addressing future workforce needs,” said Kyle Carter, Downtown Davenport Partnership executive director. “The bike racks are just a small example of what we can do on a huge scale when we collaborate regionally at all levels.”

A few years ago, the Downtown Davenport Partnership, an affiliate of the Quad Cities Chamber, came up with the idea to make bike racks with their logo on them. After doing some research and brainstorming, they were able to partner with Davenport West’s welding department and have the bike racks made locally by high school students, the city release said.


This year, the QC Chamber has expanded that program to include the Downtown Bettendorf Organization, a fellow Chamber affiliate, and Bettendorf High School’s welding department.

“Students exploring manufacturing work in the future are getting hands-on experience in high school on all aspects of completing a job,” said Ryan Jantzi, Downtown Bettendorf Organization executive director. “From raw material, pricing, and fabrication to powder coating, marketing, and craftsmanship – it’s real-world experience in high school all while creating something that adds value to our community.”

The Sept. 1 morning event will be on the Mississippi River Trail at the Davenport/Bettendorf border. You can park at State and 8th streets, Bettendorf. The Davenport West-Bettendorf football game will start at 7 p.m. on Sept. 1, 2023 at Bettendorf High School, 3333 18th St.