4th Annual Festival to be held on Saturday, Sept. 18th - “It’s Our River Day”

Festival-goers at this free, family-friendly and wind-powered event will find countless ways to celebrate life on the Mississippi River on Saturday, Sept 18th from Noon-9pm as part of Governor Quinn’s “It’s Our River Day” initiative.

Highlights of the festival include an eco-village where you’ll find Earth-friendly products and services, conservation exhibits and nature craft vendors, plus ideas and experts to help us all achieve more sustainable lives.

From Noon until 4pm, families will enjoy an abundance of kids’ hands-on activities, such as fun solar experiments, eco-crafts, Japanese fish printing, macroinvertabrate table, Conservation Police Officer Wildlife Trailer, EarthBall Games, local wildlife to interact with, water safety exhibits and a fantastic 4,000-gallon aquarium filled with native species featuring the “Fetch & Fish” demonstrations with diving dogs. New this year, the MEF will host the 2010 Riverbend Catfish Tournament; don’t miss the weigh-in of the monster catches at 4pm.

Do your part to kick the day off right at the River Clean-Up, which is from 9am-12pm and includes a free lunch and a boat ride with Missouri River Relief and the US Army Corps of Engineers. (Pre-registration is required, please call 462-6802) You may pick up a recycle bin for your home at the festival and also recycle various items on-site: black plant pots, old cell phones, and home and garden tools. Rain barrels to harvest rain water for gardening will be available at the festival for $65 – supplies are limited, it is suggested to reserve yours in advance by calling 334-3630.

Artistic elements include three art contests (photography, plein air painting, and coloring book design), as well as an 8-foot mural of a river scene for kids of all ages to color. Sculptors and welders will be creating sculptures on-site out of materials pulled from the river during the morning’s litter clean-up.

Visitors will find a great selection of food booths all day, and the beer tent will open at 4:30 featuring Blue Moon and Schlafly products.   

Depart anytime from the festival grounds for a 5-mile bike ride on the levee to the National Great Rivers Museum, or take a 35-mile ride on beautiful country roads, which departs at 10am and is organized by Wild Trak Bikes.   

The festival will also present live music on the main stage all day: 

Jakes’s Leg (6:00-9:00) - Grateful Dead Tribute

River Ramblers (3:40-5:40) - Traditional & Contemporary Bluegrass

Jonathon McCammon (1:20-3:20) - Loop Rock—One Man Band

Irony Rains (Noon-1pm) - Indie Acoustic Pop

The Mississippi Earthtones Festival is presented by Alton Marketplace, the Sierra Club and the National Great Rivers Research & Education Center with support from American Water, the Simmons Firm, ConAgra Foods, Sheppard Morgan & Schwaab Engineers, The Nature Institute, and the City of Alton. Fun volunteer opportunities are available, please contact 463-1016 to sign up for a shift. Please note that no coolers or pets are allowed in Riverfront Park during events. Visit: www.RiverfrontAmphitheater.com/Earthtones for more details and registration info.

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