East West Riverfest 2013

August  06, 2013

For more than two weeks in September, the arts, culture, and heritage of the Quad Cities will be celebrated. Experience Quad Cities announced Tuesday that nearly 400  events are scheduled for the second annual East West Riverfest

WVIK's Roald Tweet will do live broadcasts of his program, Rock Island Lines, live from the festival at 11 a.m. each day, Sept. 9-20.

Quad City Arts Executive Director, Carmen Darland, said last year, the Riverfest added about a half millions dollars to the local economy.

"We banded together to see what we can do to market each other," said Darland. "What can we market collectively? No one said about trying to re-invent each other, but in coming together we found ways that we could work together and share resources, share venues, share ideas, etc. Last year was successful beyond our expectations."

Darland says about 60-thousand people took part in the events last year, with about five percent of them coming from out of town.

Quad City Symphony Orchestra spokesman, Jared Johnson, said the Riverfest brought more out-of-town visitors to the annual Pops concert. 

"Riverfront Pops had our best attendance in ten years last year," said Johnson. "And what was really actually interesting to be able to track was that I could see out-of-town hits on our website individually, and I knew which markets we were marketing in. And in those particular markets, especially in Chicago, I saw a disproportionate bump in visits.

President of the Sons of Norway, Reg Shoesmith, said last year the Riverfest helped publicize his event Evening with the Vikings.

"I just think this is a pretty rich area," said Shoesmith. "There are just so many cultural groups and artistic groups. So there's just a real rich art history, and it's nice to put it on display. With some of the smaller groups -- the symphony, that's a big boom event -- but this gives the smaller venues a chance to kind of have an opportunity to show what they're about. People enjoy that." 

The East West Riverfest will take place September 6th through the 22nd at various locations across the Quad Cities. A full schedule of events can be found on the Riverfest website