LeClaire gets sneak peek at ‘John McGivern’s Main Streets’

A roomful of LeClaire residents gathered on Tuesday, April 5, and became the first to see their town spotlighted on “John McGivern’s Main Streets” television show. 

During the preview party at Mississippi River Distilling Co. (MRDC) in downtown LeClaire, the small crowd was treated to a viewing of the Main Streets episode as well as a return visit by its host Mr. McGivern and producer Lois Maurer. 

This is the scene from “John McGivern’s Main Streets” episode spotlighting LeClaire, in which the host learns about the annual TugFest celebration. CREDIT JENNIFER DEWITT

“We couldn’t be more excited to host this,” MRDC co-owner Garrett Bruchett told the more than 60 people at the party held at MRDC’s new Celebration Center. The show, he said “really showcases our downtown, our community and everything we have to offer in LeClaire.”

The travel destination show, which is in its first season, will air its LeClaire episode on Sunday, April 10. “John McGivern’s Main Streets” will air locally at 10 a.m. on KLJB, Fox 18. Ten days later, it will be available on YouTube.  

After the 30-minute episode was played, Mr. McGivern and Ms. Maurer spoke with the guests – many of whom were interviewed for the episode – about the show’s launch. The pair previously produced a similar series, “Around The Corner with John McGivern,” which aired in the Milwaukee and Chicago markets and on PBS World, until it was canceled by PBS. 

Through Ms. Maurer’s television connections, the two were able to create a new show to continue shining a spotlight on the country’s interesting small towns and cities. Ms. Maurer now is a producer for Milwaukee-based Plum Media, which produces the new show.  

“Lois and I love to sit in a room and watch people who are in the show (watching it),” Mr. McGivern said. He told the group of the huge time commitment that guests make when the show comes to town between the initial interviews, preparation time, taping and the actual interview. But after the editing process, he said many who see it will say after all that “I got a minute.” 

In his episode on LeClaire, Mr. McGivern visits with many locals and tours many of its retail and tourism attractions including MRDC, Antique Archaeology, Buffalo Bill Museum, Twilight Riverboat, Faithful Pilot, Crane & Pelican and more.  He also discusses the rivertown’s history, its laid-back environment and the tourism draw it has become in interviews with other community leaders. It also includes spots on the annual bi-state TugFest across the Mississippi River and prospective plans to convert the Interstate 80 bridge into a Bison Bridge when a new replacement is built. 

Ms. Maurer said before they chose LeClaire as one of their “Main Streets,” they visited in March 2021 “and we secret shopped.” “We try to find out what’s unique and special about your community.”

The crew returned in May 2021 to tape the episode “and it was 93 (degrees) the first day and 51 (degrees) when we left,” Mr. McGivern recalled.

Ms. Maurer said the first season includes 13 episodes – featuring across six Midwest states – and LeClaire is the 11th to air. The other Iowa destination was Dubuque. 

“And we’ve gotten the green light for a second season,” she told the QCBJ.  

For more information, visit mainstreets.tv.

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