ALTON - Alton Main Street and the Sierra Club Illinois’ Three Rivers Project are announcing the return of the Mississippi Earthtones Festival to Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 17. The organizations are seeking exhibitors, vendors, artists, sponsors and volunteers for their 16th 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.

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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 installations that will enhance the festival grounds.

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 and services. Exhibitors will have the opportunity to get their products and services in front of a large crowd while also promoting broad community commitment to protect the Mississippi River—our region’s most important natural resource.

Wind-powered live music will fill the air throughout the day. The entertainment line-up on the main stage will feature: Loftys Comet (Alternative Indie Jazz) from 12:00-2:00, Nonstop Reggae Band 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 p.m.

Volunteers are needed on September 17th 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. 24th.

The festival is free to attend, and great local food and beverages will be available for purchase. 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.

“The theme of this year’s Mississippi Earthtones Festival is ‘amplify the river.’ With that spirit in mind, we will fill Alton’s riverfront amphitheater and surrounding area with presenters and attendees who are committed to conserving and protecting our beautiful Mississippi River,” says Sara McGibany, event co-organizer and Executive Director of Alton Main Street. “We encourage eco-friendly businesses, artists, and local organizations to participate in the festival, and invite the community to join us for an exciting day honoring the river through art, music and conservation on September 17th!”

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 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.

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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.

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