DAVENPORT — As the city continues to deal with the aftermath of historic flooding in LeClaire Park, the Quad City Symphony Orchestra is moving the Aug. 17 Riverfront Pops concert to Arsenal Island, for the first time in the event's 37-year history.
Due to extensive damage sustained by LeClaire Park and subsequent recovery efforts, the Arsenal has agreed to host near Quarters One, on grounds of the Arsenal Golf Club, QCSO executive director Brian Baxter said Thursday.
“Rock Island Arsenal has stepped up in a big way to serve as the venue for Riverfront Pops and we are so grateful for their willing support as hosts,” he said. “The Arsenal site is stunningly beautiful, complete with a fantastic river view and will preserve the Riverfront Pops experience as 'the party of the summer' on the river in the Quad-Cities."
“We had in the back of our mind this was going to be a possibility, due to the historic nature of the flooding,” Baxter said, noting the city of Davenport couldn't promise access for LeClaire Park events until after Sept. 1, and the Pops date couldn't be moved back.
LeClaire Park has had two events moved this summer: Red, White and Boom! on July 3, moved to the Arsenal, with fireworks launched from the Island; and last weekend's Mississippi Valley Blues Festival was moved to Murphy Park at The Bend in East Moline.
Baxter said the 6,000-plus crowd Riverfront Pops typically draws should be accommodated on the island.
In 2017, the Pops 50th anniversary tribute to the Beatles' “Sgt. Pepper” attracted 10,000 fans to LeClaire Park.
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This year's Pops is a tribute to Queen, and will close with the traditional renditions of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” and John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever” set to a big fireworks display. The Arsenal's cannons might be used during this closing, Baxter said.
Attendees are welcome to bring in their own food and beverage, and several vendors will be on-site with a range of dining and entertainment options.
“It's a party; people bring their lawn chairs, their wine and cheese," Baxter said.
Gates open at 4 p.m. Aug. 17. Visitors 16 and older will need to show a valid, state-issued ID at the Rock Island or Moline gates. Directional signage will get you to the event parking areas. The QCSO might offer some shuttle service from outlying parking, Baxter said.
The Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra will kick off with a pre-show at 6:30 p.m. and the Music of Queen will begin at 7:30 p.m.
At the concert, Tony Vincent will sing classic-rock Queen favorites made iconic by Freddie Mercury. Known from NBC's “The Voice,” Vincent is a music-theater veteran having performed original lead roles in Queen’s jukebox musical “We Will Rock You” and Green Day’s “American Idiot.”
Additional event details will be announced later on QCSO.org.