Come this Saturday, Quad-Citians and tourists alike can see the amazing sight of the biggest road race in the Quad-Cities.
This is Bix Week in the Quad-Cities, and it will culminate in the 45th annual Bix 7 Road Race through Davenport on Saturday.
Runners have prepared for this moment for months. Here's what to know about the 45th annual Bix 7:
1. It's named after a Quad-Cities legend
Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke was a famous cornet player and jazz composer. A Davenport native, Beiderbecke is known for his recordings of "Singin' the Blues" and "I'm Coming, Virginia" on cornet and the jazz standard "In a Mist,' which he recorded on piano. Beiderbecke's recording of "Singin' the Blues," which he recorded with saxophonist Frankie Trumbauer and jazz guitarist Eddie Lang, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1977.
Beiderbecke died at age 28 in 1931, and he is buried in Oakdale Memorial Gardens in Davenport.
"When a musician hears Bix's solo on 'Singing the Blues', he becomes aware after two bars that the soloist knows exactly what he is doing and that he has an exquisite sense of discord and resolution," jazz saxophonist Benny Green wrote in his book "The Reluctant Art: Five Studies in the Growth of Jazz."
Want to learn more about Bix Beiderbecke? Visit the museum dedicated to him on the lower level of the River Music Experience, 129 N. Main St., Davenport. For more information and hours, visit bixmuseum.org.
2. It's the last race for some very important people
Along with it being the 45th Bix 7, this year's race will be the 40th and final race for Ed Froehlich, who is retiring as race director. In addition, it will be the 30th and final year for Ellen Hermiston, operations director.
As part of the celebration, this year's Bix 7 slogan is "Give Ed a Shout." The slogan is intended to encourage past racers to enter so they'll be a part of Ed's final race.
3. There's still time to register
Want to race in the Bix 7? There's still time to register to run if you visit bix7.com. Registrations will be accepted through 9 p.m. Friday, and the cost is $50, or free for active-duty military members.
You get to choose which version of the Bix you'd like to run — the seven-mile Bix 7 or the two-mile Quick Bix. The decision can be made race morning.
All finishers of the Quad-City Times Bix 7 and the Prairie Farms Quick Bix will receive medals this year. Those have been given out every five years, beginning in 1975.
4. Don't forget the kids
Kids also can participate in the Bix. Arconic's Jr. Bix, for children 12 and younger, will begin at 6 p.m. Friday on 3rd Street outside the Quad-City Times building. Starting with the youngest, each heat lets kids run a specific distance and get a medal for their efforts.
On the other side of the building on 4th Street, kids ages 6-12 can run. Ages 6-7 will run a half-mile, while ages 8-12 run seven-tenths of a mile.
After the races, kids can enjoy a post-race party sponsored by Walmart in the Quad-City Times parking lot.
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5. Plenty of events even if you don't run
Don't run? No problem! There are events and parties to attend the day of the Bix. The Street Fest will kick off at 11 a.m. Friday on 2nd Street between Brady and Ripley streets in the middle of downtown. Food will be available, and live music will be supplied by bands that will include QC Rock Academy, Jenny Lynn Stacy and BEES. The party will continue the day of the Bix, with live music starting at 10 a.m.
For runners, the Packet Pickup Expo features dozens of vendors offering the latest in health, wellness and fitness. Plus, famous runners Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Meb Keflezighi will be available to sign autographs on Friday.
The expo will be open from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday and will continue from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m Friday at the RiverCenter South Hall, 136 E. 3rd St., Davenport. This is also where runners pick up their bibs and register.
6. Free shuttle service available for first time
For the first time, the Bix 7 will provide a free shuttle service to the RiverCenter for registration on Friday and to the Scott County Administration Building on race day. It is only four blocks from the starting line.
The shuttle will run every 20 minutes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday for packet pick-up and the race expo. Pick-up will be at 300 Brady St., which is the city bus stop.
Running from 6 a.m. to noon on race day, the shuttle will pick up at three locations. In Davenport, pick-up will be at NorthPark Mall, 320 W. Kimberly Road, in the northeast corner of the mall parking lot. In Moline, pick-up will be at SouthPark Mall, 4500 16th St., north of Dick's Sporting Goods and J.C. Penney. In Bettendorf, pick-up will be at Isle Casino Hotel, 1777 Isle Parkway, east of the parking ramp.
7. Road closings and parking
You can't host a road race that frequently includes more than 15,000 runners without closing a few roads.
The Bix starts on E. 4th Street and goes up Brady Street before making a right on Kirkwood Boulevard, continuing until it turns around on McClellan Boulevard.
All those roads will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday through noon Saturday. Any vehicles parked there during that time will be towed.
There also will be a number of roads closed for other events. Street Fest will close W. 2nd Street from Ripley to Brady streets from 10 a.m. Thursday to noon Sunday. Parts of Main and Harrison streets also will be closed.
There are some free parking places. Harrison Street and Redstone ramps will be free and open to the public from 5 p.m. Friday to midnight Sunday.
8. You can follow the race online
Stay tuned to qctimes.com, our Twitter account @qctimes and #Bix7 on Twitter for all the latest updates. Those will include up-to-the-minute results and updates from Thursday's Genesis Health System Brady Street Sprints, Friday's Jr. Bix, and Saturday's Bix 7, Quick Bix and the after-party (for runners and walkers only).
9. Don't forget to have fun and take in the sights
Want to watch the race? You can stand just about anywhere along the course to watch, but if you want to watch the start, you're advised to enter on 5th Street using the east and west sidewalks of Brady Street. Wheelchair viewing areas are at 5th Street and Brady Street on the west side of Brady, Kirkwood Boulevard and Brady Street on the west side of Brady, Kirkwood Boulevard and Belle Avenue in the green space in the Village of East Davenport, and 3rd Street and Pershing Avenue.
There's plenty to see and do race day. Parties line the streets, and so do people cheering on the runners. Don't forget the costumes — runners compete every year in the costume contest. Last year's winners included the "The Running of the Bulls," who dressed as matadors and bulls.