East Moline gets ready to welcome Blues Fest

EAST MOLINE, Illinois-- The Mississippi Valley Blues Society's Blues Fest is finding a new home this year across the river. The Annual festival is usually held in LeClaire Park at the bandshell. But flooding has forced organizers to move elsewhere. They chose Murphy Park, a brand new park being built by the Bend Hotel in East Moline.

"We've done all the planning. We've got all the stuff in. So we're just waiting for everything to take shape and once it takes shape, then we'll be ready to go," says Tyler Murphy, CEO of Murphy Park Events.

Murphy says the park has transformed even in the past week. Sod has gone in and what was once a muddy area is now green. Plants and woodchips have been put in place.

"It's really cool," Murphy says. "It's been a long time since you've seen anything down here. It's just been so vacant."

In addition to Murphy Park, the Bend Event Center is also nearing completion (in time for a weekend wedding). The Hyatt Place and Hyatt House have been open for almost a year. A gas station is also going in nearby.

Blues Fest is one of the biggest events to come to the area.

"I think it's going to be really good for East Moline," Murphy says. "It's going to bring people to this side of town."

City Administrator Doug Maxeiner says they're still working out some detailed plans for Blues Fest, including security and emergency plans.

"We want to share it with as many people as we can so if we can get 4,000 people in there to share in that momentum of East Moline, then that's great," Maxeiner says. "For a new facility down here at Murphy Park, that's a pretty good crowd right out of the gate. So we're gonna be tested pretty quick."

Blues Fest is July 5-6. Murphy Park also hosts to a weekly concert series this summer. That information is on its Facebook page.

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