GRAFTON – The Grafton Chamber of Commerce is hosting Towboat days at Grafton Marina. Last year's Towboat Days took place in mid-July with a heat index of 110 degrees.

This year, Towboat Days Chair Jan Desherlia of the Grafton Marina said she is hoping cooler temperatures will attract more people, noting the Nov. 4-5 dates of this year's event. This year is the 15th or 16th year the Chamber of Commerce has presented the event.

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Luhr Brothers Towboat Company is bringing its "pristine" towboat, the Twyla Luhr, complete with its captain and 13 members of its crew, which will take groups on a tour of the vessel from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. each day. Tour tickets for adults are $3, and children cost only $1. Tours will end in the captain's quarters at the helm of the boat.

In addition to the Twyla Luhr, there will be several attractions for families. On Saturday Nov. 4, the Gypsy Rose Land Pirate Ship will be available for children to shoot and chase cannonballs and have fun sword fights.

On Sunday, the pirate ship will be replaced with a bounce house sponsored by Jersey State Bank.

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Desherlia said riverboat captains will also be coming to entertain families with stories from the river.

"We're going to have a few riverboat captains drop into Grafton Harbor to tell tales of their wildest river adventures," she said.

The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 3-13 will be at the event alongside the United States Army Corps of Engineers to promote water safety for people of all ages. Desherlia said they will have fun activities for children to learn and practice proper safety techniques.

"We're really looking forward to it," Desherlia said. "This is probably my fifth year chairing it, and it's grown each year. This year, we're really looking forward to it, because the leaves will be changing and it will be cooler. We're looking to extend the Grafton tourism season this year, and have a couple more good weeks out of it."

Following Saturday’s Towboat Days event, Grafton Harbor will host a Full Moon Cruise from Grafton Harbor which will highlight the haunted history of Grafton during which actors will bring the Piasa up from its muddy depths and a spirit dancer will ward it away from the harbor.

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