It's Tug Fest weekend and the towns of LeClaire, IA, and Port Byron, IL will have thousands of people partying this weekend as they prepare to compete in a game of tug-of-war across the Mississippi River. If you aren't familiar with Tug Fest or you're trying to plan out your trip to LeClaire or Port Byron, this is everything you need to know about Tug Fest 2022.

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Brief History Of Tug Fest

Originally titled Hobo Days, The Great River Tug Fest (or Tug Fest for short) began in 1987 after Scott Verbeckmoes witnessed a similar, but smaller festival, according to the Port Byron Tug Fest website. The website says that co-chairman Charles “Boots” Knapp and Keith Speckman, Denise Bowers, Kathy Augsbuger, Patty Kemp, Connie Eckermann, Ciel Abbott, Fred & Lavern Walbusser, and Frank and Sandy James were the original committee members who sold the idea and pulled it off.

How Big Is The Rope?

The rope that teams on the Iowa and Illinois sides will pull weighs 680 pounds. It is also 2,700 feet long. Tug Fest shuts down all barge and boat traffic on the Mississippi River during the tug.

Schedule Of Events On The Iowa Side

If you plan on rooting on the Iowa teams, get ready for a fun weekend in LeClaire, IA. Events begin in the evening on Thursday, August 11th, and end on Saturday night. Below is the schedule of events for the Iowa side:

Thursday, August 11th

Family Night - Free Admission

  • 4:30 p.m. - Carnival, Vendors & Beverage Tent opens
  • 4:30–10 p.m. - BINGO on the south end
  • 5–10 p.m. - Carnival Wristband Night ($25 unlimited rides)
  • 6:30 p.m. - Bags Tournament (North End)
  • 7–11 p.m. - Live Music from KY & TY and THE OTHER GUY

Friday, August 12th

Admission is $5 - Under 12 are Free

  • 4:30 p.m. - Parade Line-Up at the LeClaire Fire Station
  • 5 p.m. - Community Tailgate Party at the LeClaire Baptist Church parking lot
  • 6 p.m. Grand Parade
    • Theme: Beads & Boots
  • 6 p.m. - Carnival, Vendors & Beverage Tent open
  • 6–10 p.m. - BINGO  on the South End
  • 7-9:30 p.m. - VIP Sponsor Party on the North End
  • 7:30–12 a.m. Live Music from NORTH of 40
  • 9:30 p.m. - Fireworks

Saturday, August 13th

Admission is $5 - Under 12 are Free

  • 7 a.m. - Community Tug Fest Breakfast (Civic Club)
  • 8 a.m. - Tugger Registration (Civic Club)
  • 10:30 a.m. - Kid’s Tug Registration (N. End)
  • 11 a.m. - Kid’s Tug
  • 11am Vendors and Beverage Tent open
  • Noon–10:30 p.m. - BINGO (South End)
  • 12:15 p.m. - National Anthem
  • 12–3 p.m. - THE TUG – LeClaire vs Port Byron (Tug Pit)
  • 4 p.m. - Live Music from HAP HAZARD
  • 8–12 a.m. -Live Music from SOUL STORM

Schedule Of Events On The Illinois Side

If you plan on rooting on the Illinois teams, get ready for a fun weekend in Port Byron, IL. Events begin in the evening on Thursday, August 11th, and end on Saturday night, similar to the Iowa side. Below is the schedule of events for the Illinois side:

Thursday, August 11th

Family Night - Free Admission

  • 5:00 p.m. - Vendors open
  • 6-10 p.m. - Carnival - Wristband Night ($25 for a wristband)

Friday, August 12th

Admission is $5 - Under 12 are Free

  • 4 p.m. - Vendors, Arts & Crafts
  • 5 p.m. - Harley Hill on Cherry St
  • 6 p.m. - Carnival
  • 7 p.m. - Elite Tumbling
  • 7:30-9:30 p.m. - Daylight Over
  • 9:30 p.m. - Fireworks
  • 10 p.m.-12:00 a.m. - Live music from Rolling Thunder

Saturday, August 13th

Admission is $5 - Under 12 are Free

  • 7 a.m. - Noon - Fireman’s Pancake Breakfast (@ Fire Station)
  • 7:30-9:30 a.m. - Quad City Ukulele Club
  • 9 a.m. - Arts & Crafts
  • 10 a.m. - Harley Hill on Cherry St
  • 10 a.m. - Prince & Princess Pageant
  • 10:00- Noon - Free Kid’s Games at the Library
  • 11 a.m. - Kid’s Tug of War at the Tug Site
  • 12 p.m. - Carnival
  • 12-3:00 p.m. - The Tug
  • 4 p.m. - U.R.I.C.R.A Bags Tournament (@ North Parking Lot)
  • 4 p.m. - Tug Awards Ceremony
  • 5 p.m. - Arm Wrestling Tournament (@ Across from Peacock’s Tavern)
  • 5:30-7:30 p.m. - Live music from Ariel McReynolds & Cooper Schou
  • 8:00 PM -  Midnight - Live music from North of 40

LeClaire Parade Route

The Grand Parade in LeClaire is Friday and starts at 6 p.m. This year's parade theme is Bead & Boots. Here is the map to see where you can watch the parade from on the Iowa side:

Tug Fest Iowa
Tug Fest Iowa
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Where Can I Find More Information If I Need To?

For parking information, to contact officials, and more info we didn't cover, both Iowa and Illinois have official websites. Check out Iowa's Tug Fest website here. You can check out Illinois' Tug Fest website here.

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