LeClaire will host Patriot Hunts Riverfest, a special event to benefit Patriot Hunts, on Saturday, Sept. 10. 

Wendy Bloomingdale and Annette Black, co-chairs of the Patriot Hunts Riverfest, have organized a family-friendly day with free admission starting with the Kids’ Fishing Derby 8-10 a.m. at the south end of the Levee. Registration starts at 7:45 a.m., a news release says.  

Starting at 10 a.m. there will be an area for craft vendors and kid-friendly crafts at the Pavilion on the Levee, a “cruise-in” for classic cars, and a section for tractors and other antiques, including supervised tractor “drives” for kids. Military vehicles also will be on display on the levee with representatives from each branch of the service  

The north end of the Levee will include food trucks and food vendors, a beer tent with soft drinks and water as well, with music starting at 1:30 p.m. After 4 p.m,. entry to the Riverfest will cost $10 per person with music, food, and fun continuing until midnight. 

“R&R Sports has put on an adult fishing tournament that happens around Father’s Day to benefit Patriot Hunts and we wanted to expand on that idea with the Riverfest,” Bloomingdale says. 

“We also decided to make it an event where parents and kids could enjoy some family time at no charge followed by something specifically for adults in the evening with a gate charge to help raise money. We hope to make a big donation to Patriot Hunts as every band has donated their time, and we could not have done this without the support of so many people in LeClaire,” she says. 

The Patriot Hunts Riverfest opening ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m., featuring a bagpipe performance, the local American Legion providing the “presentation of colors” followed by a LeClaire scout troop carrying a large flag, and LeClaire Mayor Dennis Gerard presenting a wreath at the Veterans Memorial on the Levee in LeClaire. The Patriot Guard will then assist one of LeClaire’s Boy Scout troops in folding the large flag, while the meaning of each fold is read aloud. Patriot Hunts CEO Ken Barnard is scheduled to speak to the crowd. 

Proceeds from Riverfest will benefit Patriot Hunts, a nonprofit 501(c)3 corporation founded by Barnard and his wife, Pam, to provide outdoor adventures at no charge for military veterans, first responders, and Gold Star families of fallen soldiers who qualify to participate. 

“I wanted to introduce every combat veteran, LEO, and Gold Star family that was interested in the outdoors to go out and experience it, whether for the first time, or reintroduce them to the great outdoors and all it has to offer,” Barnard says. 

Based in Fayetteville, N.C., the organization has a deer hunt scheduled for Nov. 3 in Texas, a bear hunt in North Carolina on Nov. 17, and a pheasant hunt in South Dakota on Dec. 3, with additional activities held throughout the year. 

For more event information, contact Annette Black at 563-320-7378 or Wendy Bloomingdale at 563-210-6635.