Event Calendar Index for the
Middle Mississippi River Valley
greatriverroad.com provides coverage of interesting events for a large area in the Middle Mississippi River Valley. Readers can explore these events using our calendars and what events interest them in communities in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Tennessee.
The Tri-State Region
The Tri-State Region includes Lee County in southwest Iowa, the northwestern Missouri counties of Lewis and Clark, and the western Illinois counties of Hancock, Adams, and Pike. The region hosts a number of notable events. Pike County features Lincoln Days Civil War Reenactment in Pittsfield and numerous small town festivals in late summer. The Nauvoo Grape Festival provides a lot of family fun. Quincy is noted for its Dogwood Festival in May and Quincy Museum Folk Life Festival in October. Music lovers will want to check out the Rollin' On The River Blues Fest in Keokuk. Rural life can be explored at the Clark County Mule Festival in Kahoka and the Sweet Corn Festival in West Point. Both Quincy and Keokuk feature Bald Eagle events in January.
Missouri Lincoln Hills
Missouri’s Lincoln Hills covers the northwestern Missouri counties of Ralls, Marion, Pike and Lincoln and includes the town of Hannibal. The region hosts a number of special events.Hannibal is the region’s largest town and hosts the most events including the Big River Steampunk Festival and the Autumn Historic Folklife Festival. But by far the most popular Hannibal event is National Tom Sawyer Days held around the 4th of July. Rural life can be explored at the Old Threshers Reunion in Elsberry. Art lovers can find an interesting experience at Hannibal’s Second Saturday Gallery Night and music lovers will want to check out the Brew Skies Music Festival in Hannibal and the Back 40 Bluegrass Festival in Curryville. Clarksville holds its popular Eagle Days in January.
The Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway
The Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway area coverage includes the Illinois counties of Jersey, Calhoun, and Madison. The region hosts over 200 special events throughout the year. If you like wine you should attend one of the monthly Wine Club Get-Togethers at Pere Marquette Lodge. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site offers events throughout the year including Solstice and Equinox Sunrise Observances. History buffs will be interested in the annual events like the Arrival Days and Departure Days events at Lewis And Clark State Historic Site. Collinsville hosts unique events like the International Horseradish Festival and Italian Fest. Art aficionados will find two Art in the Parks in the fall - one in Grafton and the other in Highland. Rural life can be explored at the Annual Olden Days Festival in Dow. Visit the Treehouse Wildlife Center’s Owlfest in October to see Bald Eagles and other raptors and critters that have been rescued. And speaking of Bald Eagles, no region the Middle Mississippi River Valley has more Bald Eagle related events including Eagle Days at Chain of Rocks Bridge, Bald Eagle Viewing Programs at Pere Marquette State Parn, and the Birds of Winter programs at the Audubon Center at the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary.
Meeting the Missouri River
The Meeting the Missouri River region covers Saint Charles County, Missouri which encompasses the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers and includes the communities of St. Charles, Augusta, O’Fallon, Saint Peters, and Wentzville. The year start’s of with Fete De Glace, an ice festival in St. Charles. The First Missouri Capitol State Historic Site host a number of history related events throughout the year. Music On Main is a popular warm weather concert series and the St. Charles Municipal Band and the St. Charles Big Band provide free concerts throughout the year. Step back into times long past at the Renaissance Faire in Wentzville. Discover life styles of the more recent past at the Farming Ways of the Frontier at the Daniel Boone Home in Defiance and Founder's Day in O’Fallon. Popular art festivals include the Festival Of The Little Hills and Mosaics: Missouri Festival For The Arts. Visitors can find Bald Eagles at the Birds of Winter programs at the Audubon Center at the Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary and the Alton-Audubon Eagle Festival.
Metropolitan St. Louis
The Metropolitan St. Louis is the Middle Mississippi River Valley area’s most populous region and hosts a large variety of memorable events. The Mardi Gras celebrations in St. Louis are second only to New Orleans in popularity. Featured events at the Missouri Botanical Garden include Chinese Culture Days, Japanese Festival, and the Best of Missouri Market. Shakespeare Festival St. Louis is a free popular early summer event held in a glen in Forest Park. Fair Saint Louis is the Middle Mississippi River Valley biggest 4th of July celebration with activities, nationally known musical acts, and fireworks on the Mississippi River by the Arch. Art Fair At Laumeier in Kirkwood and the Saint Louis Art Fair in Clayton are just two of a number of nationally known art fairs held throughout the year in the St. Louis area. Music lovers will delight in the Big Muddy Blues Festival in Laclede’s Landing along the banks of the Mississippi. Unique events include the Saint Louis County Greek Fest and the Great Forest Park Balloon Glow and Balloon Race. Get up close to nature at Owloween at the World Bird Sanctuary. Bald Eagles take up winter residence in the St. Louis area and are the featured attraction of Eagle Days at the Chain of Rocks Bridge and an Eagle Walk at Fort Bellefontaine.
French Colonial Country
The region along the Mississippi River south of St. Louis is French Colonial Country. The area was first colonized by the French in 1699 and includes the Missouri Counties of Sainte Genevieve and Jefferson and the Illinois Counties of Saint Clair, Monroe, and Randolph. The region hosts a number of notable events. The small village of Maeystown has a full calendar with events throughout the year like Fastnacht, Fruehlingsfest, the Spring Art Show, and Apple Butter Demonstration Days. Another small town with a big calendar is Kimmswick which hosts popular events like its Strawberry Festival and Apple Butter Festival. Unique community events include the Porta Westfalica Festival in Waterloo, Charter Oak Schoolhouse Corn Fest in Schuline, Popeye's Picnic in Chester. The area is home to some very popular art fairs including Art on the Square in Belleville, Jour De Fete in Ste. Genevieve, and the Midwest Salute to the Arts in Fairview Heights. The Traditional Music Festival in Festus attracts bluegrass fans from far and wide. Living history events can be found throughout the year at Fort De Chartres State Historic Site including the Rendezvous in early June, one of the biggest events of its kind. Rural life can be explored at Rural Heritage Day in Ste. Genevieve in the fall. La Guiannée, a French Colonial celebration is observed in both Ste. Genevieve and Fort de Chartres. Bald Eagles can be seen at Eagle Fest at the Kaskaskia River Recreation Area in February.
Meeting the Ohio River
After the Mississippi River passes St. Louis it begins to change character. When the Mississippi River meets the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois it is halfway on its journey to the sea. greatriverroad.com’s coverage of events includes the Missouri Counties of Cape Girardeau, Perry, Scott, and Mississippi, the Illinois Counties of Jackson, Union, and Alexander, and all of Western Kentucky. There are two notable wine areas in the region and viticulture can be appreciated at the Riverside Art, Wine & Blues Festival in Murphysboro, the Downtown Sikeston Wine Festival, and events hosted by the Mississippi River Hills Wine Trail. Unique small town events include the Sweet Corn Festival in East Prairie, Vulture Fest in Makanda, the Fulton Banana Festival, and the Spring Chicken Festival in Clinton. Notable are events include the River Campus Summer Arts Festival held at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau and the Cowboy Up! Arts Festival in Sikeston. Bluegrass fans can get their fill at the Bootheel Bluegrass Festival in Fruitland. Living history can be found at a number of events at Fort D, a preserved Civil War fort in Cape Girardeau and Civil War Days in Columbus. The city of Charleston celebrates spring with its Dogwood-Azalea Festival.
The Upper Delta
The Upper Delta Region of the Middle Mississippi River Valley is where the river really meets the south. This region covers the Bootheel Region of Missouri, Northeastern Arkansas, and Western Kentucky. For those interested in nature there are nature hikes in Reelfoot Lake State Park and Fort Pillow State Historic Park and Reelfoot Lake Pelican Festival in Tiptonville, Tennessee. State Parks like Village Creek State Park and Parkin Archeological State Park in Arkansas offer both nature and historical activities. Interested in music? Check out KASU’s monthly Bluegrass Monday in Paragould or Heritage Musicfest in Osceola in Arkansas. The most notable event in Boothill Missouri is the Delta Fair in Kennett. Interested in Art? Arkansas State University’s Bradbury Museum Gallery hold its Delta National Small Prints Exhibition in January and February. Art Fairs and events include the Heritage Festival in Covington, Tennessee, the Reelfoot Arts & Crafts Festival in Tiptonville, Tennessee, and the Fall Into Arts Festival in Kennett, Missouri. Unique community events include Tennessee festivals such as Newbern Depot Days, Lauderdale County Tomato Festival, and the Obion County Cornfest. In January and February visitors looking for Bald Eagles flock to Reelfoot Lake for its popular Eagle Tours and the Reelfoot Lake Annual Eagle Festival.
FRENCH COLONIAL COUNTRY
The region along the Mississippi River south of St. Louis is French Colonial Country. The area was first colonized by the French in 1699 and includes the Missouri Counties of Sainte Genevieve and Jefferson and the Illinois Counties of Saint Clair, Monroe, and Randolph. Notable communities include Sainte Genevieve, Kimmswick, Belleville, Waterloo, Columbia and Chester.
MEETING THE OHIO RIVER
After the Mississippi River passes St. Louis it begins to change character. When the Mississippi River meets the Ohio River at Cairo, Illinois it is halfway on its journey to the sea. greatriverroad.com’s coverage includes the Missouri Counties of Cape Girardeau, Perry, Scott, and Mississippi, the Illinois Counties of Jackson, Union, and Alexander, and all of Western Kentucky. Notable communities include Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, Murphysboro, Carbondale, Cairo, and Wyckliffe.
THE UPPER DELTA REGION
The Upper Delta Region of the Middle Mississippi River Valley is where the river really meets the south. The area includes the Bootheel region of Missouri, the scene of the famous 1811-1812 New Madrid earthquakes. In northeast Arkansas greatriverroad.com departs from its normal rule of only covering counties that border the river by adding coverage of the Crowley’s Ridge Scenic Byway with its Ozark like terrain and many state parks and attractions.