In 2008, the Muscatine Quarterback Club announced publicly that it would no longer host the annual “Great River Days” festival. The event was discontinued after 50 years of being known as Muscatine’s premier riverfront family entertainment event.
After the announcement of discontinuance by the Quarterback Club at the conclusion of the 2008 festival, local businessmen Kerry Keller and JJ Koehler started working on plans to continue the event, with special emphasis on expanding the annual festival and its benefits to the community of Muscatine. The mission statement and purpose of that plan is as follows:
It is our mission to restore GRD to the size and level of community involvement that it once had in the 1970’s and 80’s. It is our intent to transform GRD into a true “regional” event that will quickly become an annual must-attend entertainment destination for persons throughout Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Over the past 3 years, the GRD organizers have secured world-class music concert performances, and re-established contests such as the Bill Riley Talent Search, GRD Queen contest, Farm Bureau BBQ contest and other festival attractions as state-wide qualifying events.
It is our mission to also open the event to any bona-fide local, non-profit, or other charitable organization(s) as a way to raise money, attract attention and gain credibility among the Muscatine area community. In doing so, we hope that local organizations will participate in GRD in a manner that will enhance the event and its relevance to the community as an annual celebration.
It is our mission to operate GRD as a not-for-profit entity, with the sole purpose of promoting the Muscatine area in a positive way. This not only includes charitable causes, but also to boost the economic impact to the business community from visitors to the event.
It is our goal to organize and promote GRD as a family-friendly and affordable event to attend. To this end, we plan on keeping admission prices a low as possible, while offering a very high value of entertainment to GRD attendees.
In conjunction with the traditional carnival, contests and activities at GRD, it is our goal to host world-class live music to be held at Riverfront Park. In doing so, we believe that having a high level of musical talent at GRD will give an immediate boost in attendance of the event, and give added credibility to GRD as a true regional festival destination.
It is our mission to carry on the “Great River Days” event, by returning to the roots of what made the festival unique to the region. In doing so, we hope to enhance the community of Muscatine culturally, financially, and charitably for many years to come.
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