Rock Island agrees to a 3-year agreement with Davenport to purchase Red, White & Boom! | Politics and elections

Red, White and Boom! The Fourth of July celebration will now have a strong and structured blueprint going forward.

Rock Island City Council members approved a three-year agreement Monday night with the City of Davenport and the Downtown Davenport Partnership with the common goal of creating a financing and event model.

The agreement states that Rock Island will pay $20,000, Davenport $25,000 and DDP $5,000 each year for three years on or before May 1 to ensure the event is fully funded at the community level.

Mike Toms, the mayor of Rock Island, said there was nothing written about the specific roles of the celebration.

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“The agreement adds a bit of structure to the event,” Toms said. “The Downtown Davenport Partnership was writing fireworks and barge contracts. They were always struggling, not knowing if the money was there. Rather than having to chase everyone and not knowing how much things cost, this adds some structure to it — clarifying the roles and responsibilities of each organization.

“We’ve worked really well with Davenport, things and elected officials change from year to year,” he said. “It adds some stability and you don’t have to worry about it for the next couple of years.”

Vendors, live music, and entertainment are usually offered at Schwiebert Riverfront Park on Rock Island and LeClaire Park in Davenport as part of the festivities. The agreement states that both cities will continue to offer family programming, food, vendors, and entertainment at their respective locations.

The Downtown Davenport Partnership will act as the financial agent, managing the funds and doing the disbursement. It will continue to handle fireworks contracts, barge rentals on the Mississippi River, vendor contracts, logistics, and necessary permits.

The partnership also agrees to seek private sponsors to provide additional funding for the event, while providing equal marketing to both Rock Island and Davenport.

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