QC hometowns, businesses get into the holiday spirit

Swedish elves will be roaming the streets of Bishop Hill, “ugly” Christmas sweaters will be on display in LeClaire, carriage rides will be offered in Eldridge and Santa Claus will be in every community in the region.

Yes, it’s the Christmas season. Many of our communities are spreading holiday cheer with annual celebrations that will showcase the Quad Cities’ regional towns and businesses.

“It’s going to be like being in a real-life Hallmark Christmas movie,”  Molly Goettsch, program and events coordinator for the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce’, said about the eastern Iowa city’s Hometown Christmas celebration set for Saturday, Dec. 4. “This is just a good way to get the community and everybody else in the holiday spirit.”

She added that many DeWitt residents are looking forward to the holiday event because many community celebrations were canceled or scaled back last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Some of the holiday features in DeWitt this year include: a free movie admission and a Christmas carnival, parade and wreath-decorating contest.

In LeClaire, the holiday celebration will be spread out over three days during the 37th annual Christmas in LeClaire fest scheduled for Friday-Sunday, Dec. 3-5.


“There’s definitely something for everybody,” said Cindy Bruhn, LeClaire tourism manager.  “There’s going to be plenty of opportunities to see Santa in LeClaire.”

Ms. Bruhn added that LeClaire’s holiday event stands out from other celebrations because of its three-day run. Some of the events will include its annual Ugly Christmas 5k run, trolley rides, breakfast and pictures with Santa.

Here are some of the upcoming holidays events around the Quad Cities: 

  • Downtown Davenport, Rock Island, Bettendorf: The Deck the Downtowns holiday promotion began Nov. 18 in downtown Davenport, Bettendorf and Rock Island to showcase Downtown Quad Cities for the holidays. The event features: a holiday display challenge with more than 40 businesses decorating their windows with holiday displays in downtown Davenport and Bettendorf; holiday lights along Bettendorf’s State Street; and Rock Island will feature holidays shows and a downtown gift guide. More information: downtowndavenport.com.
  • Davenport: Lights at Vander Veer Park (Conservatory) through Jan. 9. The event also features a gingerbread display and poinsettia show. The conservatory is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and Sunday. It is closed on Mondays; Fejervary Holiday Lights, Fejervary Learning Center, 1800 W. 12th St., goes through Jan. 2. The light shows last about 15 minutes with a show starting every 30 minutes, 5-9:30 p.m.;  Christkindlmarket, 4-9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3, at 421 River Drive; and Davenport Holiday Extravaganza, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 18 at NorthPark Mall. More information: quadcities.com
  • Rock Island: Winter Nights, Winter Lights at the Quad City Botanical Center featuring more than 160,000 lights, through Jan. 2. Winter in Bloom, Hauberg Estate, Sunday, Dec. 5, with carriage rides from noon to 4 p.m. More information: quadcities.com.
  • Eldridge: Hometown Holiday will be 5:30-7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3. The event will include a Christmas walk and horse and carriage rides. More information: northscottchamber.com
  • Lyons: Lyons Christmas Walk will be 4-6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5. Stroll the Avenue to see live displays and decorated windows. Take a horse drawn carriage ride, see real Reindeer, make a s’more and visit with Santa.
  • Fulton, Ill.: Fulton Christmas Walk, 5-9 p.m., Friday, Dec. 3; and Christmas Walk at Heritage Canyon, noon-6 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4. More information: cityoffulton.us
  • Moline: Christmas at Deere-Wiman House, 3:30 p.m., Friday-Sunday, Dec. 3-5; and Holiday Show, Dec. 11-12, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., SouthPark Mall.
  • LeClaire: The 37th annual Christmas in LeClaire, Friday-Sunday, Dec. 3-5, LeClaire Civic Center, 127 S. Cody Road. Fun includes shopping, silent auctions, visits from Santa, and trolley rides. The 6th annual Ugly Christmas Sweater 5k and Kids’ Fun Run is 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 4. More information: visitleclaire.com.
  • Bettendorf: Christmas Fest Children’s Outreach, 8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4, at 1811 18th St.; and Tis the Season Senior Holiday Event, 1 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5, Quad Cities Waterfront Convention Center.
  • Village of East Davenport: The Christmas in the Village celebration will be 6-9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4. The event will include “winter sparkle” fireworks, numerous shops open and Santa at the International Fire Museum. More information: villageofeastdavenport.com.
  • East Moline: Lighted Christmas Parade, 5-8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 4.
  • DeWitt, Iowa: DeWitt’s Hometown Christmas on Saturday, Dec. 4. Events include a kids’ carnival from 9-11 a.m. at Emmaus Road Church, the movie “Polar Express” at 11:15 a.m. at the opera house, a window walk from 5-7 p.m. and a vehicle parade at 5 p.m.  More information: dewittiowa.org.
  • Bishop Hill, Ill.: Julmarknad, or Christmas Market, is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 4-5; and Lucia Nights, 6-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday, Dec. 10-11. The event includes Swedish folk characters, gift sales, cookie walk, Christmas walk, chocolate walk, crafts, Swedish elves and a working model train. More information: bishophillheritage.org.
  • Clinton, Iowa: Lyons Christmas Walk, 4-6 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 5; Symphony of Lights light display, Eagle Point Park. Open through Dec. 30, 6-9 p.m. weekdays, 5-9 p.m. weekends. More information: symphonyoflights.org.
  • Geneseo, Ill.: Geneseo Christmas Walk is 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 11. The Geneseo Jingle 5K run is at 8:30 a.m. A parade at 5 p.m. More information: geneseo.org.


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