Alton, IL- The Meeting of the Rivers Foundation (MTRF), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and their many partners are throwing a party for our great rivers! The first annual Great Rivers Festival will be at the National Great Rivers Museum in Alton, IL and the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary in West Alton, MO from 10 am - 5 pm on Saturday May 17th. A party so big, it spans the Mississippi River!

At the National Great Rivers Museum you can look forward to live music, local food and drink vendors, local art vendors, and much more! There will be live bird shows from the World Bird Sanctuary and an appearance by Serengeti Steve:The Reptile Experience. Other shows include a taxidermy demonstration and lessons on how to catch and prepare asian carp!

At the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary, canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards will be available for the public to try in the calm backwaters of Ellis Bay. Paddling is open to all ages and skill levels but must be 11 years or older to paddle solo.  Visitors will be able to talk to members of the St. Louis Canoe and Kayak Club plus many other paddling enthusiasts about water safety and paddling our great rivers. The paddling portion of the festival will be $5 per person and equipment will be supplied.

For a complete list of show times and events, visit www.mtrf.org. The National Great Rivers Museum is located off River Heritage Parkway (IL Hwy 143) at #2 Lock & Dam Way, East Alton, IL 62024, adjacent to Melvin Price Locks & Dam. The museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has free admission. For more information, call 618-462-6979 or go online to www.mtrf.org. You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GreatRivers.                                         

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