Rock Island Labor Day Parade is ready to roll

Labor Day parade
Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms is shown at a past Rock Island Labor Day Parade. This year’s event begins at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 5. CREDIT CITY OF ROCK ISLAND

The 38th annual Rock Island Labor Day Parade is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 5, beginning at 9:30 a.m.  

More than 120 entries have registered, with many based on this year’s theme of “Marvelous Rock Island.” Several local schools, organizations, churches, businesses and residents have registered to participate. 

This year’s parade offers a musical showcase with 12 bands and drill teams, including four marching bands, seven flatbed bands and one special drill team.

Organizers are very excited for the return of the marching bands from St. Ambrose University, Rock Island High School, Moline High School and Rockridge High School. Adding to the musical variety will be the flatbed bands of Big River Brass Band, John Mueller’s Royal Pop Band, North of 40, Ginger Roots, Len Blackmon, the Sheltered Reality Drum group and local favorite Crooked Cactus.

The parade steps off near Washington Jr. High School at 18th Avenue and 33rd Street. The route travels west along 18th Avenue, turns south at 24th Street, then west on 25th Avenue, and disbands into the Rock Island High School parking lots. Several businesses along the route will be offering food and drinks to parade watchers.

The first Rock Island Labor Day Parade was held in 1985 as part of the city’s sesquicentennial (150th Birthday) celebration. Over the past 38 years, the parade has grown into a popular community event that averages 130 entries and draws thousands of spectators.

More details and a map of the parade route are available at

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