by Jessica Waytenick •

Address: 5000 44th Street in Rock Island, Illinois
Phone: 309-786-8987
Web Site:
Hours: Performances are Sunday and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. from Memorial Day-Labor Day
Admission: Free
Media Contact: Gail Burrill,
What's New:

  • The Backwater Gamblers host a water ski cliniceach summer for individuals with disabilities, as well as give lessons.

Each summer the Mississippi River backwaters on the Rock River become a performance area for the Backwater Gamblers.

Every Wednesday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Backwater Gamblers Water Ski Club presents a water ski extravaganza. The free one-hour, fun-filled family show is a themed performance combining skits, music, dance, and water-skiing.

Dare-devil maneuvers occur with flips and spins over the jump ramp; boat speeds up to 40 miles per hour pull skiers on nothing but their bare feet; and girls in beautiful costumes slalom ski in a ballet line and gracefully turn on swivel skis. A most amazing sight is to see skiers pull together to build a huge pyramid formation in the air and continue water-skiing.

Since forming in 1979, the Backwater Gamblers have been nationally ranked for the past 29 years. They are currently ranked eighth.The team consists of approximately 130 membersranging in age from 2 to 58.

In October, the Backwater Gamblers host a haunted hayrack ride at their riverfront location.

The show takes place at Ben Williamson Park in Rock Island, Illinois, located at 44th Street and the Rock River. For more information, visit their website at

For more information on the Quad Cities area, call the Quad Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-747-7800 or visit their website at

The Quad Cities is located on the Mississippi River and is made up of the riverfront cities of Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois. The area is just a 2-½ hour drive from Des Moines, Iowa, and Chicago, Illinois. It is easily accessible via I-80, I-74, I-88 and several major state highways.

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