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ALTON - The sounds of summer will kick off on the Alton Riverfront June 21 – 23 with the revival of the once popular Mississippi River Music Festival and the return of F1 Powerboat Racing.

Tickets are available now for the resurrected Mississippi River Festival featuring one night of electrifying music with headliner Larkin Poe, a Grammy Award-winning blues rock band, along with Nashville rock ‘n rollers Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, 90’s hitmakers Fastball and the up-and-coming rock band FEEL. The musical fun will take place on Saturday, June 22 at the Alton Amphitheater. General admission tickets are $25 and can be purchased here starting today: https://www.tixr.com/groups/mississippi-riverfest/events/mississippi-river-festival-103136. VIP and Reserve seating tickets will go on sale Friday, May 3. For additional information about the Mississippi River Festival, please visit: www.mississippiriverfest.com

REX Productions, in collaboration with the City of Alton, worked together to revive the festival which was originally held from 1969 through 1980 at SIUE in Edwardsville. The festival was known for bringing in legendary acts including The Eagles, Joni Mitchell, BB King and more. The concerts were wildly popular and brought diverse people together to create unforgettable experiences under the starlit skies of southwest Illinois.

“Re-visiting a festival of this magnitude is no small task,” said Nick Bifano, Mississippi River Festival Director. “We understand the gravity this name carries and the responsibility we have to do all things with excellence. What excites me the most is the opportunity to bring national attention to our river town and celebrate the already incredible music and arts scene.”

The music will be bracketed by two days of F1 Powerboat racing on the Mississippi River beginning at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, June 22-23. Tickets for a VIP experience and bleacher seating are now available at: https://www.riversandroutes.com/events/f1-powerboat-championship/

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In addition to powerboat racing and music, the first-ever F1 Championship Cornhole Tournament will be held on the Alton Riverfront Sunday, June 23. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and bag will fly at 9 a.m. Team registration is $50 and cash prizes will be awarded.

“It’s exciting to bring the famous Mississippi River Festival back to life after a 44-year absence,” said Cory Jobe, President/CEO of the Great Rivers & Routes Tourism Bureau. “Pairing great music with great river racing equals a powerful weekend event that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in southwest Illinois this summer.”

The revival of the Mississippi River Festival is made possible through a partnership with the REX team, Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau, F1 Powerboat, the City of Alton, the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity, the Illinois Office of Tourism, and the thousands of people who share the love of the incredible festival.

“The City of Alton is a great place for music festivals and powerboat racing,” Alton Mayor David Goins commented. “We are proud to be the host site for both the revitalized Mississippi River Festival and F1 Powerboat Racing. This will be a weekend to remember for everyone!”

The F1 Powerboat event will feature a series of heat laps on a course created on the Mississippi River. The number of heats will increase over the course of the two-day event. The F1 Powerboat races start with the boats lined up with dead engines on the starting pontoon. With the drop of the green flag, the silence breaks as engines ignite propelling the boats forward with powerful sprays of water over 150 feet in the air as they race towards the first turn. The races feature F1 Powerboats, Tri-Hulls, Formula Lights and J-Hydro speed action powerboats. Race champions will be crowned in a special presentation on the Alton Riverfront at 4 p.m., Sunday, June 23.

"Our events are designed to be family-friendly, featuring an open pit where fans can meet the drivers and explore the impressive boats," noted Seebold. "Alton is a significant place for me personally, rich with the history of my family's involvement in powerboat racing that began with my grandfather in 1939 and has included my father, brother, and myself. Having grown up here, my connection to F1 Powerboat racing is deep, just like many other fans from the St. Louis area. We've all cherished the St. Louis Grand Prix for over three decades. The overwhelming local support has been heartwarming, and I am certain this event will create lasting memories for everyone."

The weekend of excitement will kick off on Friday, June 21 with a Meet the Drivers event and a street party at Mac’s Downtown, 315 Belle St., from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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