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Downtown Davenport’s population will balloon this weekend when tens of thousands of visitors are expected to line up for the 30th Festival of Trees Holiday Parade set to kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19. Some 45,000 people are expected to be on hand for this year’s version of the largest helium-filled balloon parade in the Midwest, according to information from Quad City Arts, the event’s organizer. Also on Saturday, scores of QC visitors will experience 2022’s Kwik Star Festival of Trees at the Davenport RiverCenter. Festival is the largest annual fundraiser for Quad City Arts. From Saturday to Sunday, Nov. 19-27 (with a day off for Thanksgiving), the RiverCenter — at 136 E. Third St. — will become a winter wonderland featuring designer displays, interactive family activities, shopping and more. Now in its 37th year, Festival of Trees has evolved from a one-room, two-day event begun in 1986 by a small group of Quad City Arts volunteers to filling the 70,000-square-foot RiverCenter in downtown Davenport, according to the festival’s website at www.qcfestivaloftrees.com. Its impact on the Quad Cities is equally dramatic. When the parade and festival attendance are combined, the holiday event adds up to one of the biggest attractions on the Quad Cities annual tourism calendar. Additional statistics, courtesy of the festival website, include: 100 designer trees; 14 special events; 3,500 volunteers; More than 100,000 visitors each year. But those numbers don’t tell the full story of the event’s impact, Visit Quad Cities President & CEO Dave Herrell said. “Festival of Trees is a unique community tradition that the Quad Cities looks forward to every year but it’s more than that from our perspective,” he told the QCBJ. “The multi-day celebration helps fuel the mission-critical work that Quad City Arts does to impact the QC’s creative energy.” Mr. Herrell added: “Our regional destination needs arts and culture to thrive because it is good for tourism, economic development and quality of life. Plus, the festival and its portfolio of events programs our community in an uplifting and inspiring way as we usher in the holiday season.” Toward that end, over the festival’s 10 days, designer trees, rooms, hearth & homes, wreaths, gingerbread creations and other holiday gift shop items will be sold to help Quad City Arts bring high-quality artists here to help inspire a generation of students and their families.