ALTON – Mississippi Earthtones 2018 is coming this Saturday, and here is what anyone looking to celebrate river culture, the community and sustainability needs to know for the weekend.

The festival is a cooperative event between Alton Main Street and the Sierra Club and is billed as a “celebration of our river through art, music and conversation. This is the 12th incarnation of the event, which is usually held the third Saturday of September and has been moved in recent years to Broadway, which is closed between Alton and George Streets from noon – 10 p.m. Saturday to accommodate the event. Main Street focuses on the art and small business aspects of the event as the Sierra Club works with conversation and education aspects with this year's theme being sustainable energy.

According to an email from Sierra Club representative Christine Favilla, the event was spurred into creation by former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's “It's Our River Day” initiative in the early 2000s when he was Lt. Governor of Illinois.

“The initiative required events to focus on either conservation, education or recreation,” Co-Coordinator of the Three Rivers Project and Sierra Club Virginia Woulfe-Beile said. “Earthtones combined all three.”

So this year's event will last from noon – 10 p.m. Saturday with the theme of Positive Energy – Go With the Current. This theme was chosen by the festival's steering committee due to several of the theme's nuances, which include wind, solar and kinetic energy as well as “thoughtfulness and personal practices such as yoga, meditation and reiki.”

To display this year's theme, the festival will have a large solar charger for phone chargers, wind energy credits purchased to offset energy used, a booth operated by Solarize Metro East, a solar cooker contest and meditation workshops.

Music will be provided by the following acts:


  • Big George Brock and the NGK Band (blues, 60s and 70s Dance tunes) 2-4 p.m.

  • Rogers and Neinhaus Band (Classic Rock and Rock) 4:30-6:30 p.m.

  • Jake's Leg (Rock, Jam Band) 7-10 p.m.


  • Nancy Lippincott (Celtic and Appalachian Songs) 1-2:30 p.m.

  • Raw Earth (Urban Trivial Fusion/Jazz) 4-6 p.m.

Food and beverages will be available from these fine establishments:

  • The Old Bakery Beer Company

  • Brown Bag Bistro

  • Gentelin's

  • Melvey's

  • Germania Brew Haus

  • Bubba Gump Smoked Pretzels

  • Sammi's Sandwiches

  • Indian Sunshine Cuisine

  • TC's Treats

  • Nonie's Family Food Cart

  • Team Honduras from Man Street Methodist Church

Exhibitions and educational booths will also be on-hand alongside artist and artisan booths, which have been approved by the group and match their environmental principles and sustainability standards.

Other activity at the Mindfulness Tents:

12:00-12:30 - Mindfulness Mediation with Rachel Treadway

12:30-1:00 - Open Meditation

2:30-3:00 - Intergalactic Meditation with Dawn Church

3:00-3:30 - Violet Flame Meditation with Amber Kwentus

3:30-4:00 - Unity Meditation with Amber Kwentus

Exhibitions/Educational booths:

Sierra Club Kids'
Sierra Club Adults
The Nature Institute
TreeHouse Wildlife Center
Jacoby Arts Center
Army Corps of Engineers

Better Building Institute Inc.

Solarize Metro East
Illinois Environmental Council

Renewal by Andersen

Trinity's Way

Jacob Sunrooms and Exteriors

Golden Road Organics
Alton Museum of History & Art
Environmental Resources Training Center
Faccin Chiropractic
Art of Universal Language
Green Thumb Nursery
Bring Your Own Glen-Ed
Illinois Natural History Survey, Great Rivers Field Station
Riverbend Rice

Mineral Springs Haunted Tours - hearse
Tesla - John Hentrich
STL Science Center
IL American Water Trailer
Principia Solar Car
IDNR Trailer

Artist Booths:
sHe Handmade Soaps
Cope's Country Creations
General Grass
Bubs and Dickies
Hanna Herbals

Levi's Beehives
Kit Kat This and That
Haul and store
Piasa Body Art & Salon

Once Design
Planet TieDye
Blair Lair Studios
Jabberwock Emporium
Kashmir Candle Co.
Dancing in the Rain
Spider Web Arts
A Glass of Harmony
Swanky Additions
Mississippi Moon
Clever Endeavors
Upcycled By Allen

Renegade Herbals
Pattan & Co., LLC.
River Rosie
Willow Furniture
Love Bark Play

Year of the Hippie
Ima Rose Design
Mommiez Blingy Bows
Nat's Looking Glass
Sly Hedgehog Productions

Face painting


Sierra Club

Alton Main Street
Old Bakery Beer Co.
Illinois Natural History Survey, Great Rivers Field Station

The Telegraph

WBGZ Radio

AdVantage News
Alton Regional CVB
Imperial Manufacturing
Alton Memorial Hospital
CNB Bank & Trust
It's Raining Zen
Simmons Hanly Conroy
Alton Materials
Madison County Planning & Development

Renewal by Andersen
Solarize Metro East
Eckert's Farm
Green Thumb Nursery

Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at

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