ALTON - The 16th annual Mississippi Earthtones festival is returning to the Alton riverfront in a couple of weeks on September 17. The free, family-friendly event will be held at the Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater at #1 Riverfront Drive from noon to 10 p.m., with live music acts, artisan craft vendors, local food and drink options, and much more.

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The live musical entertainment lineup includes Alternative Indie Jazz band Loftys Comet from 12-2 p.m., one-man band Jason “Gordo” Gordon from 2-3 p.m. and 6-7 pm, Nonstop Reggae Band from 3-6 p.m., and Grateful Dead tribute band Jake’s Leg from 7-10 p.m.

There will also be more than 50 eco-friendly vendors and educational booths offering everything from hand-made crafts to tips on living more sustainably.

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“Dozens of local artists and upcyclers will offer their nature-inspired, hand-made, and environmentally-friendly wares, and several agencies will be teaching consumers how to incorporate more sustainable practices into their daily lives,” according to Alton Main Street.

Jacoby Arts Center has also set up an “arts playground” for the festival which will feature live painting, dance and flag performances, aerial arts, pole acrobatics, hoop spinning, stilt walkers, hydro dipping, free body painting, and a community ceramics project.

Alton Main Street Executive Director Sarah McGibany announced at the organization’s last “What’s Up Downtown?” meeting that the Mississippi Earthtones Festival would be returning to the Alton riverfront after being away for a few years.

“On behalf of Alton Main Street, we’re thrilled to announce that we will are going to be relocating our Mississippi Earthtones Festival back to [the] riverfront amphitheater this year - that is very exciting for us,” McGibany said. “We started the event on the riverfront and we have been on Broadway for the last five years, but we are returning there.”

This year’s Mississippi Earthtones Festival is brought to you by Alton Main Street and the Sierra Club. For more information about the Mississippi Earthtones Festival, visit the event’s Facebook page or the Alton Main Street website.

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