Get ready for an adventure! That's a common theme every year of "Floatzilla" which is billed as the largest paddlesport event on the entire Mississippi River. This year's event takes place this weekend in the Quad Cities.
This morning, we hopped aboard the News 8 River Cruiser to have breakfast with Noah Truesdell, one of the coordinators of Floatzilla.
Thousands of paddlers will take to the river early Saturday morning, launching from three sites: Bass Street Landing in Downtown Moline, Leach Park in Bettendorf, and the Lindsay Park Marina in Davenport. This year's event is a little different because of the construction work on the I-74 Bridge. Paddlers are not allowed on this stretch of the river! In addition, due to record flooding on the Mississippi River this year, Credit Island is off-limits. This means that packet pick-up will be 5-7 p.m. at the TaxSlayer Center in Downtown Moline. For those who can't pick up their packets at that time, Truesdell says packets can be picked up at the selected launch site.
As paddlers descend on Rock Island's Sunset Park at 2:00 p.m. the public is encouraged to participate with food, vendors, and a live DJ. That's when the record attempt will be made. Every year, it comes close with more than a thousand boats, all hooked together by arm.
Floatzilla is a major fundraiser for the Quad Cities' own River Action, which is an environmental group which works to increase the vitality and sustainability of our beautiful Mississippi River.
But how does one have breakfast on a boat? With pastries, of course!
Yesterday, we visited with the owner of the Quad Cities' newest bakery, Small Town Pastry, located on the southwest corner of Middle Road and Crow Creek Road in Bettendorf, Iowa.
Owner Janice Hubbard spent many years as a chiropractor at Palmer College, but decided to follow a dream and open a neighborhood bakery in Bettendorf.
She is putting together some fantastic tarts, croissants, and muffins and says that having the kids ride their bikes to her shop makes her most proud.
You can check out their Facebook page for more information. We'd like to give a big thank you to Janice and her crew for supplying us with some great croissants and fruit tarts.
Click here for more information on the bakery...a perfect stop for paddlers before putting in the water on Saturday.
-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen