Martin Luther King Center in Rock Island to host annual Family Fun Day

Local News

The Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center (MLK Center) will host its 33rd Annual Family Fun Day on Saturday, September 11. Family Fun Day is a community event celebrating all cultures, as well as strength in neighborhoods and families. This year’s event will feature a parade, food and merchant vendors, informational booths, live entertainment and many activities for youth and families. 

“Family Fun Day is essentially a giant block party for people of all ages. We’re inviting the entire Quad Cities to join this free community event, and to experience some of the best of what Rock Island has to offer,” said MLK Center executive director Jerry Jones.

“This year, Family Fun Day will have more of everything: more food vendors, more merchandise vendors, more bounce houses, more children’s activities, more live entertainment…. and more time!” he said in a Wednesday release. “The event will wrap up at 7 p.m., instead of 2 p.m. as in previous years. This is in part due to the sponsorship of DARI, the Development Association of Rock Island. We’re grateful for their partnership.”

The parade will begin at Frances Willard Elementary School (2503 9th St., Rock Island) at 10 a.m., and will head north on 9th Street until it reaches the MLK Center (630 9th St.). Kai Swanson, winner of the 2021 “I Have a Dream” Award, will serve as the parade’s grand marshal. Metropolitan Youth Drill Team and dancers will perform in the parade.

Family Fun Day continues at the MLK Center, and across the street at MLK Jr Park, until 7 p.m. Children will enjoy several bounce houses, including some that are specifically for children under five years old. Other activities include face painting and balloon twisting. 

Food vendors and merchants will be present. Food vendors will include Gaybo’s Grill on Wheels, Smokin’ Goodness, the Johnson family, NEST Café, Bowlyou’s Ice Cream and Grill, and QC Gyro/Izzy’s Place. Merchants will include Urban Essence Cosmetics & Apparel; American Bank & Trust; The Artsy Bookworm; Country Financial; Cookies n Moor; Gina Gee’s; Custom by Noel; Klayy’s Entertainment; and Moonchild Fashion Boutique. 

The NAACP of Rock Island County is organizing a community resource fair with over 50 informational booths, including some local employers who are hiring. For more information, visit

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