A city only turns 150 years old once, so they may as well have a big party to celebrate. Moline is throwing a weeklong celebration to mark their sesquicentennial, starting with a mayoral luncheon on Monday, historic trolley tours through downtown on Tuesday and Wednesday and finishing off with a three-day music and art festival full of music, food, fireworks and fun.

Mayoral Luncheon: Moline Mayor Sangeetha Rayapati has invited all former and current Moline elected officials, current Moline board and commission members and Moline 150 sponsors to a kick-off picnic at Bass Street Landing to officially launch the weeklong celebration.

Historic Trolley Tours: Take a 30-minute ride through 150+ years of history in downtown Moline. Meet local founders like John Deere and David Sears, who converted Moline’s natural waterpower into a mighty industrial enterprise on the Mississippi River. You’ll meet a former slave who helped found a church, Moline’s first female doctor, a river-loving poet and a World War II hero from the Floreciente neighborhood. Tours run every half-hour from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Tuesday, August 23 and Wednesday August 24. Trolleys will load and unload at the John Deere Pavilion, 1400 River Drive. Free tickets are first come, first served and are available here. You can also request a ticket by calling (309) 524-2007.

Music and Art Festival:  Over 20 bands, from local favorites to major national touring acts, will perform on two stages over the three-day event, with music from every genre. The MidAmerican Main Stage, located under the skybridge that connects the TaxSlayer Center to the Metrolink station and parking garage, will host headliners Galactic featuring Anjelika Jelly Joseph, Pokey LaFarge, Celisse, Lissie, The Way Down Wanderers and more. On Friday, Mercado on Fifth will bring the party down to River Drive, with music from Banda Cerro Azul, Grupo Innstinto, Crooked Cactus and more. Mercado on Fifth vendors will be selling their food and wares at the festival throughout the three-day event.

The festival will also feature an interactive chalk art display and a Kids Zone featuring bounce houses, face painting, clowns, balloon animals, a coloring book station where young artists can enter to win free Riverside Aquatic Center season passes for 2023 and more. More than a dozen food vendors will be on hand and several beer tents will be serving drinks, including craft beers from Moline-based Bent River and Galena Brewing and wine and other drinks from Watermark Corners.

The City’s popular Touch-A-Truck event is moving from Public Works to downtown Moline on Saturday August 27 to give everyone a chance to get up close and personal with squad cars, fire trucks, snowplows, dump trucks and more. Military vehicles from the Rock Island Arsenal are slated to be there as well. Touch-A-Truck will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the parking lot behind Dead Poets Espresso and Bad Boyz Pizza. Dead Poets Espresso is located at 1525 Third Avenue and Bad Boyz is located at 313 16th Street in Moline.

Please note that backpacks and purses larger than a clutch are not allowed. Lawn chairs, strollers and diaper bags are allowed but all items are subject to search. ADA parking will be available in the TaxSlayer parking lot near the Main Stage entrance and the entire festival grounds is wheelchair accessible. There will be ASL translators for the trolley tours and main and community stage performances. Courtesy golf cart shuttles will also be available from downtown parking ramps throughout the weekend.

Timeline

  • Monday, Aug. 22 – Mayoral Luncheon (11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., by invitation only)
  • Tuesday, Aug. 23 – Historic Trolley Tours (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, Aug. 24 – Historic Trolley Tours (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Aug. 25 – Music and Art Festival (4 p.m. – 9 p.m.)
  • Friday, Aug. 26 – Music and Art Festival with Mercado on Fifth “Stage Takeover” (4 p.m. – 11 p.m.)
  • Saturday, Aug. 27 – Touch-A-Truck (9 a.m. – 11 a.m.)
  • Saturday, Aug. 27 – Music and Art Festival (11 a.m. – 11 p.m.)
  • Saturday, Aug. 27 – Fireworks (Dusk)
  • Monday, Aug. 29 – Monument Dedication at City Hall (Time TBD)