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ALTON - As expected, Saturday's Mississippi Earthtones Festival attracted thousands to the Alton riverfront. The festival was a free event held at the Liberty Bank Amphitheater with live music, local food and drink options, artisan craft vendors, and much more.

The live entertainment included Indie jazz band Loftys Comet, Jason "Gordo" Gordon, Nonstop Reggae Band, and Grateful Dead tribute band Jake's Leg.

There was an art playground that included live painting, dance and flag performances, aerial arts, hoop spinning, pole acrobatics, stilt walkers, hydro dipping, and free body painting.

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Sara McGibany, executive director of Alton Main Street, said the festival attracts a wonderful group of attendees.

"We have music and art, crafts, and everything from jazz, and reggae to the Grateful Dead," she said. "We are thrilled to be back at the Amphitheater. We thank the City of Alton for our great volunteers, and vendors. This attracts thousands to Alton. It celebrates the Mississippi River, which is what we are here to do today."

Paige Laughhunn of the Army Corps of Engineers said the Earthtones event enabled the Corps of Engineers to put themselves out in the public eye and show the opportunities they provide with recreation and conservation.

"We also are able to promote our special events and do some education today, teaching about birds," she said.

Mackenzie Carney said the food and music were amazing and the snow cones were great.

Virginia Woulfe-Beile, of the Piasa Palisades Group - Sierra Club - said the event has been a great combination of the collaborative talents of Alton Main Street and the Sierra Club over the years.

"This ties in with our mission of outreach on the region and conservation," she said. "We are excited to be back at the Amphitheater as our home base."

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