A few of us are getting together on the weekend of Jun 26 & 27 at Mississippi Palisades State Park in Illinois. It's not exactly a rally, just some friends getting together. I understand the the reserved spaces are taken, but that there may yet be some unreservable spots open. I live about 80 miles or so from the campground, and about 40 miles from the Quad Cities.
The Quad Cities (Davenport & Bettendorf IA, and Moline & Rock Island IL) are hosting the Grand Excursion Flotilla – June 25 - July 5, 2004 in commemoration of the first Grand Excursion sponsored by the railroads in 1854 to spur the westward development of the United States. For the first time, in 1854, the Mississippi River was linked to the Atlantic Ocean by rail.
Quoting from the Grand Excursion 2004 website:
Grand Excursion 2004
"The original Grand Excursion of 1854 celebrated America’s first railroad connection to the Mississippi River. This event hosted more than 1200 dignitaries, politicians, journalists, business leaders and artists, including the 13th United States President, Millard Fillmore, on a journey that began on rail from Chicago to Rock Island, Ill., then by steamboat up river from Rock Island to Saint Paul, Minn. and Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, with several stops in riverfront communities along the way."
There will be opportunities to ride paddlewheel riverboats, riverboat races with some five or six boats participating, and a host of other activities up and down the Mississippi from the Quad Cities to Minneapolis. There are supposed to be a number of barges up and down the river through the Quad Cities that will be doing simultaneous fireworks to radio-broadcast music as well.
If you have the opportunity to come to the Quad Cities to see this event, I suspect it will be worth the trip and your time. There are lots and lots of campgrounds within fifty miles of the Quad Cities, so there ought to be plenty of space!