Flooding can’t stop Mississippi Valley Blues Fest

Thousands of music lovers from across the country packed downtown Davenport Friday for the 29th annual Mississippi Valley Blues Fest.

The bands, food and crowds attracted visitors from as far away as California and Colorado to the Quad Cities.

“I said, ‘Davenport, Iowa? Huh?’ But it’s awesome, we love it. We went to a couple brew pubs down on the river and just had a great time,” said first-time attendee Debby Miller.

“It’s on the Mississippi, what more could you ask for? It’s the real thing,” added Cheryl Cynar, who came from California for the event.

Organizers said last-minute location changes hadn’t hurt attendance, either.

“Thousands, yeah thousands. Last night we estimated about 4,000 to 5,000 down here throughout the day, so it’s been a really good time,” said festival chairman Julie Reyes.

Last week, flooding moved the fest from its usual location in LeClaire Park to downtown on 2nd Street. Visitors, though, said the location is second in importance to the music.

As Cynar explained — if you haven’t had the blues, you aren’t human.

“I think everybody can relate to being heartbroken, being mistreated, feeling like they belong somewhere else, they want something more from life. And it’s a great way to express yourself — you can’t do it with words alone, you need the music,” said Cynar.

Blues Fest continues in downtown Davenport through Saturday night.

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