ALTON - Alton Main Street, the Sierra Club Illinois’ Three Rivers Project and Jacoby Arts Center are announcing the return of the Mississippi Earthtones Festival to the Alton Amphitheater on Saturday, September 16th from noon until 10:00pm. The organizations are seeking exhibitors, vendors, artists, sponsors and volunteers for their 17th annual event. The festival attracts thousands of community members and tourists to Downtown Alton every year to celebrate our river through art, music, and conservation.

Wind-powered live music will fill the air throughout the day. The entertainment line-up on the main stage will feature: Mattie Schell & Friends (Americana) from 12:00-2:00, Loftys Comet (Alternative Indie Jazz) from 3:00-6:00, Jake’s Leg (Grateful Dead Tribute) from 7:00-10:00, and between each act will be a performance by Jason “Gordo” Gordon (1-Man, 10-Piece Band) from 2:00-3:00 and 6:00-7:00. New this year, ARTICA STL will team up with the Joia World Percussion Marching Band for two rousing performances through the festival grounds. Attendees are welcome to check in at the ARTICA booth and participate in these boisterous parades, one during daylight hours and one after dark.

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Dozens of local artists will offer nature-inspired, hand-made, and environmentally-friendly wares. Jacoby Arts Center is lining up an amazing day of performances and interactive art experiences, and all local artists are welcome to participate. Many creatives are being commissioned to design art installations that will enhance the festival grounds. The festival is free to attend, and delicious local food and beverages will be available for purchase.

A variety of fun and educational activities are planned for families from Noon until 6:00 p.m., and there will be several agencies on hand to teach consumers how to incorporate more sustainable practices into their daily lives. Conservation-based organizations and environmentally conscious businesses are invited to apply for booth space or sponsor the event to showcase their products. Exhibitors will have the opportunity to promote their services to a large crowd while also supporting broad community commitment to protect the Mississippi River—our region’s most important natural resource.

Volunteers are needed on September 16th at the festival grounds, and anyone who pitches in will receive a free festival t-shirt. Volunteers can also participate in the MEF River Clean Up, which will take place the following Saturday, Sept. 23rd; to date over 46 tons of trash have been removed from the river at MEF clean ups.

“The theme of this year’s Mississippi Earthtones Festival is ‘Love Joy Flow’, and we will fill Alton’s riverfront with art that interprets these subjects. We can’t wait to introduce attendees to the various entertainers and exhibitors who are committed to celebrating and protecting our beautiful Mississippi River,” says Sara McGibany, Executive Director of Alton Main Street. “We encourage eco-friendly businesses, artists, and local organizations to participate in the festival, and invite everyone in the community to join us for an exciting day honoring the river through art, music and conservation on September 16th!”

This event is held annually on the third Saturday in September as part of the State of Illinois’ “It’s Our River Day” initiative to celebrate Illinois watersheds through education, recreation and conservation activities. To register as an exhibitor, vendor, sponsor or volunteer please visit To stay up-to-date on announcements, please follow:

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About Alton Main Street

Alton Main Street is a community based, not-for-profit, volunteer-led organization dedicated to securing the economic vitality and aesthetic quality of Alton’s historic downtown district. Since 1994, Alton Main Street has led volunteer efforts to transform Downtown Alton into a thriving commercial and residential center through education, historic preservation, and coordination of social, economic, and beautification activities. To learn more, visit

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.8 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit

About Jacoby Arts Center

The mission of Jacoby Arts Center is to nurture and promote the practice and appreciation of the arts through education, exhibits, cultural programs, and community outreach initiatives. For details on upcoming classes, events and programming, please visit

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