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Lower Mississippi River Dispatch No. 392
Monday, March 20, 2017
Wed Mar 22nd World Water Day River's edge below Great Arch

Celebrating World Water Day — and the opening of the Rivergator: Middle/Lower Mississippi River Water Trail 1 million words, photos & maps describing the Mississippi River; Now live at

St. Louis Send-Off Ceremony

World Water Day — March 22, 2017

Where: At the river’s edge in downtown St. Louis under the Great Arch; bring a sample of your home water to share in a water pouring ceremony. The waters connect us all!

When: 12 noon, Wed March 22, 2017

What: realizing the potential of the Mississippi River for nature tourism with an 1154 mile long expedition from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico, 6 weeks in voyageur canoes.

Partners: include Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative, Big Muddy Adventures, Gramophone, St. Louis City Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia, Swift Print, 305 Spin Web Designers & Services, Mississippi River Network/1 Mississippi, Mississippi River Trail, Greenway Network, Missouri Dept of Conservation, Missouri Coalition for the Environment, Mississippi Valley Traveler, and many others.

Presented By: Lower Mississippi River Foundation: Stewardship of the Lower and Middle Mississippi River through deep engagement. Contact John Ruskey, 662-902-7841 or Christine Ingrassia, 314.541.4787

1 Mississippi and the Mississippi River Network

Thanks to Tanner Alljets for posting on 1 Miss calendar:


Community Partners Come Together to Highlight World Water Day and Celebrate the Mississippi River

John Ruskey

Quapaw Canoe/Rivergator 662.902.7841

Colin Wellenkamp

Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative

Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia

St. Louis Board of Aldermen

ST. LOUIS CITY, MO - March 17, 2017 - Rivergator, a collaboration between Quapaw Canoe Company out of Clarksdale, MS and Big Muddy Adventures in St. Louis, along with the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI), invite members of the metropolitan area to a water ceremony at the river's edge underneath the Gateway Arch on March 22nd from 12pm-1pm in order to commemorate the United Nations' World Water Day. The health of our communities and economic productivity of our nation depend on access to clean water. Diligent, proactive protection and responsible management of our water resources is integral to ensure sustainability of these delicate ecosystems.

Rivergator, a 1 million word, complete guide to paddling the Middle and Lower Mississippi is celebrating its completion via a 6 week, 1,154 mile trip from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico on the river (online at The group of paddlers from all over the world will be traveling to the Gulf via voyageur canoes, as North Americans have been doing for centuries. Rivergator illustrates the potential of the Mississippi River for nature tourism and is overseen by the Lower Mississippi River Foundation.

MRCTI has been promoting economic and environmental security and stability along the Mississippi River Corridor since 2012, giving a common voice to those who depend most upon the River. The MRCTI builds the capacity of member mayors, empowering them with the tools and support to undertake effective local initiatives which attract green jobs, move towards sustainable economies and achieve local environmental protection goals.

The event will begin with a Native American water blessing. Speakers will include Colin Wellenkamp (MRCTI), John Ruskey (Rivergator), Mark River Peoples (Quapaw Canoe Company), Andrew McClean (Aussie Adventurer), and others. Bring a sample of water from your home to share in the ceremony.


The Rivergator Celebratory Expedition

March 20 to May 10, 2017
St. Louis to Gulf of Mexico

Introducing Paddlers:

John and LaNae Abnet — paddled the Wabash/Mississippi in 2015. LaNae is blogging this trip and already posted at — go check it out!

Chris Battaglia - Expedition Film Maker, from Portland ME, modeled his business after Thoreau’s “simple life” —

Boyce Upholt - Expedition chronicler, TFA leader, now turned full-time writer, his current project is called between the levees: which he sub-titles America's Great, Misbehaving River—and its Walled-In Wild

Alicia Lloyd
- Clean Water Policy Coordinator for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment. Go to website:

Tony Long - A Brit living in Belgium, passionate pro-European, seasoned traveller and life-long environmental campaigner and political activist; on expedition for one week, to Cairo

Andy McLean - Andy is a Kiwi-based adventurer who loves the outdoors and runs a club in London called “Little Paddle” that was inspired by a trip on the Mississippi in 2015. On entire expedition to the Gulf.

Tim Weybright, retired computer programmer/farm boy dreamed all his life of trying the big Mighty Mississippi one day!

Introducing Crew:

Mike Clark - BMA founder and leader, senior teacher

Janet Sullens Moreland - BMA senior guide, world-class paddler (first person source to sea on both MO River (2013) and MS River (2016),

Roo Yawitz, BMA General Manager, Senior Guide

Lena Von Machui
- QCC secretary and 1st mate

Mark “River” Peoples - QCC chief guide and youth leader

John Ruskey - QCC founder, Rivergator creator

Itinerary & Partners:

-- St. Louis --

This section in partnership with Big Muddy Adventures

Monday, March 20 (Vernal Equinox): Meet 3pm at Columbia Bottoms Boat Ramp (on the Missouri River). Pack your gear into drybags and load the big canoe. Push off around 4pm down the last three miles of the Missouri River. Camp at Missouri/Mississippi Confluence on Duck Island.

Tuesday, March 21: continue downstream from Duck Island, Route 66 Bridge, City of St. Louis Waterworks, the I-270 Bridge, and Chain of Rocks (portage might be necessary). Camp: Mosenthein Island.

Wed March 22: Great Arch, LaClede’s Landing, the Stan Musial Veteran’s Memorial Bridge (newest bridge on the Mississippi), Eads Bridge, the McKinley Bridge, East St. Louis, Anheuser Busch Brewery, Jefferson Barracks, JB I-255 Bridge, Meramec Confluence.

Thurs March 23: Herculaneum, Harlow Island, Fort DeChartres, Calico Island, Osborne Island, Magnolia Hollow Conservation Area

-- Ste Genevieve --

Fri March 24: Ste Genevieve, Moro Island, Kaskaskia River, Chester, Rockwood Island

Sat March 25: Tower Rock, Grand Tower, Trail of Tears State Park, Devil’s Island

Sun March 26: Cape Girardeau, Marquette Island, Thebes, Pawnee Hills

-- Cairo/Ohio River --

This section in partnership with Kentucky Dept. of Tourism

Mon March 27: Big Bends of the Middle Miss around Dogtooth Island and Missouri Sister Island, Cairo, Fort Defiance, Ohio River Confluence

Tues March 28: Wickliffe, Columbus Belmont, Wolf Island

Wed March 29: Hickman, Is No 8, Reelfoot Lake, Bessie’s Bend

-- New Madrid --

Thurs March 30: Bessie’s Bend, New Madrid, Kentucky Point

Fri March 31: Tiptonville, Lee Towhead, Hathaway/Island 14, Sandy Hook Bar, Caruthersville

— April 2017 —

Sat April 1: Island 18, Is 20, Is 21, Mouth of the Obion, Tamm Bend

Sun April 2: Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge, Nebraska Landing, Island 25, Island 26 and Forked Deer Island 27

Mon April 3: Ashport-Keyes Gold Dust, Lower Forked Deer River, Island 30, Osceola

-- Osceola --

This section in partnership with the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism

Tues April 4: Sans Souci Driver Island, Old Mouth of the Forked Deer, First Chickasaw Bluff, Sunrise Towhead - Island 34

Wed April 5: Hatchie River, Randolph Landing, The Second Chickasaw Bluff (Richardson Bluff), Dean Island

-- Memphis --

Thurs April 6: Denseford Bar and Dikes/Hen and Chicks, Meeman Shelby Forest State Brandywine Island, Hickman Bar, Loosahatchie River, Redman Point Bar, Memphis Upper Waswater Treatment Plant, Wolf River, Mud Island, Memphis "M" Bridge (Hernando De Soto Bridge), 4th Chickasaw Bluff, Memphis

Fri April 7: Meet at 12 noon Mud Island Park Boat Ramp and push off downstream Lower Bridges/Engineer's Bar, President's Island, Entrance to McKellar Lake, Dismal Point, Ensley Bar

Sat April 8: Josie Harry Bar, Cow Island Bend, Cat Island No.50, Starr Landing, Tunica Riverpark Museum, Buck Island (No. 53), Basket Bar

Sun April 9: Commerce Bend, Rabbit Island, Mhoon Landing, Mhoon Bend, Whiskey Chute/Walnut Bend, Whitehall Crevasse, Tunica Runout, Shoo Fly Bar, Stumpy Island

-- Helena --

This section in partnership with Visit Helena Arkansas

Mon April 10: Harbert Point, Mouth of the St. Francis River, St. Francis Bar, Buck Island (Prairie Point Towhead), Trotter's Pass, Helena Harbor.

Tues April 11 (Passover/Full Moon): Re-Supply in Helena

Wed April 12: Re-Supply in Helena

Thurs April 13: Re-Supply in Helena

-- Clarksdale --

This section in partnership with Visit Clarksdale!

Fri April 14 (Good Friday): Yazoo Pass, Montezuma Towhead, Friars Point, Kangaroo Point, Dewberry Island 61, Old Town Bend, Island 62

Sat April 15: Island 63, Quapaw Landing (Clarksdale), Muddy Waters Wilderness, Burke’s Point, Mouth of the Mellwood Lake, Mouth of De Soto Lake, Jug Harris Towhead, Island 68, Island 67

Sun April 16 (Easter): Wood Cottage, Knowlton Crevasse, Island 69, Cession’s Towhead, Hurricane Pint (Dennis Landing), Island 70, Henrico Sandbar, Scrubgrass Bend, Smith Point Sandbar, Mouth of the White River, White River NWR

Mon April 17: Big Island, Victoria Bend, Old Channel of the White, Wreck of the Victor, Great River Road State Park, Rosedale Harbor, Arkansas River

Tues April 18: Prentiss Sandbar, Mouth of Lake Whittington, Caulk Neck Bar, Cypress Bend, Catfish Point Bar, Choctaw Bar Island, Mounds Landing, Arkansas City

-- Greenville --

Wed April 19: Yellow Bend, The Greenville Bends, island 8, Leland Neck Point, Warfield Point State Park, Greenville Harbor, Greenville

Thurs April 20: Sunny Side Landing, Greenville Bridge, Lakeport Towhead, American Bar, Kentucky Bend

Fri April 21: Leota Bar, Cracraft Chute, Worthington Cutoff, Matthews Bend, Grand Lake, Island 88, Bunch’s Cutoff, Corregidor Bar, Wilson Point Bar, Mayersville, Tennis Court Landing

Sat April 22 (Earth Day): Baleshead, Stack Island, Ben Lamond, Shipland WMA, Fitler Bend, Arcadia Point Bar, Cottonwood Bar, Chotard Lake, Terrapin Neck Cutoff, Willow Island

-- Vicksburg --

This section in partnership with Visit Mississippi!

Sun April 23: Eagle Lake Pass, Tara Landing, Madison Parish Port, Paw Paw Chute, Brown’s Point, Mouth of the Yazoo River, Vicksburg

Mon April 24: Vicksburg Loess Bluffs, Delta Point, Vicksburg Bridges, Racetrack Towhead, Letourneau, Palmyra, Togo, Middle Ground Island

Tues April 25: Big Black River, Grand Gulf State Park, Yucatan Ditch, Coffee Point Dikes, Diamond Cut-Off, Port of Claiborne County, Bayou Pierre, St. Joseph Boat Ramp, Bondurant Towhead

-- Natchez --

his section in partnership with the Atchafalaya Basinkeeper

Wed April 26: St. Joseph, Waterproof, Natchez

Thurs April 27: Natchez, St Catherine's Wildlife Refuge, Carthage, Warnicott, Homichitto River, Washout Bayou, Artonish, 3 Rivers WMA

Fri April 28: Ft. Adams, Old River (Mouth of the Atchafalaya River), Angola Ferry & State Penitentiary, Shreve’s Bar, Hog Point, Tunica Bayou, Polly Creek, Little Island, Iowa Point

Sat April 29: St. Maurice Island, Bayou Sara, St. Francisville, St. Francisville, John James Audubon Bridge, Fancy Point

Sun April 30: Thompson Creek, Profit Island, Devil’s Swamp, Istrouma Bluff

— May 2017 —

-- Baton Rouge --

This section in partnership with the Lower Mississippi Riverkeeper

Mon May 1: Re-Supply in Baton Rouge

Tues May 2: Baton Rouge, I-10 Bridge, Baton Rouge to Plaquemine Red Eye Dikes Manchac Bend, Plaquemine, Nottoway Plantation, Bayou Goula Towhead

Wed May 3: Point Clair, White Castle, Philadelphia Point, Eighty-One-Mile Point, Donaldson, Bayou Lafourche, Bayou Teche, Bringier Point, Point Houmas, Sunshine Bridge, Oak Alley Plantation, Magnolia Landing, Paulina.

-- New Orleans --

Thurs May 4: Bonnet Carre Spillway, Twenty-Six Mile Point, I-310 Bridge, Huey P. Long Bridge, 9-Mile Point, Audubon Park, Algier’s Ferry, French Quarter, Algiers Point.

Fri May 5: Algiers Point, Industrial Canal, Algier’s Lock, Poydras Bend, English Turn Bend, Caernarvon Crevasse, Twelve Mile Point, Shingle Point, Belle Chasse Ferry, Jesuit Bend, Will’s Point

Sat May 6: Will's Point, Poverty Point, Point Celeste, Pointe A La Hache Bohemia Beach, Mardi Gras Pass, Happy Jack, Sixty Mile Point

Sun May 7: Tropical Bend, Point Pleasant, Ostrica Pass, Buras Landing Boat Ramp, Fort Jackson, Plaquemines Bend/Fort Jackson Point, Baptiste Collette Bayou, Venice, Grand Pass Island, Cubit’s Gap, Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Pilottown, Head of Passes, -0- Mile Zero

-0- Mile Zero --

Mon May 8: Head of Passes, -0- Mile Zero, Southwest Pass, South Pass, Port Eads, Lower South Pass Island, Pass A Loutre, Southeast Pass, Last Camp on Expedition: on the Gulf of Mexico (Full Moon Night!)

-- Gulf of Mexico --

Tues May 9: Paddle back upstream to Venice, Grand Pass Island, Cubit’s Gap, Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Pilottown, Head of Passes, -0- Mile Zero, final takeout at Cypress Cove Marina in Venice.

Tues May 10 (Full Rose Moon): Drive back through New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Natchez, Vicksburg, return to Clarksdale. Shuttle back to Memphis, St. Louis, or points in between, as needed.

Contact: John Ruskey, 662-902-7841 or to reserve your seat, and for more information.

Mission: We are celebrating the opening of the Rivergator: Paddler’s Guide to the Middle/Lower Mississippi River Water Trail, now live at

Route: St. Louis to Gulf of Mexico, 1154 miles of free-flowing river

Dates: March 20 to May 10, 2017

What is the Rivergator Celebratory Expedition?

In Spring of 2017 we’ll be paddling the Mississippi River from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico in a 45-day expedition to celebrate the completion of the Rivergator: Paddler’s Guide to the Lower Mississippi River Water Trail.

Who can Join?

Anyone is welcome to jump on board our voyageur style canoe (Option: if you are an expert paddler you can bring your own vessel). No previous experience necessary, but must enjoy wilderness-style camping and must be willing to paddle!

Journalists on board:

This is all about sharing the story. We are reserving at least 4 seats on every segment for writers, photographers and any journalists who will help us share the story about the beautiful and dynamic Mississippi River and the Rivergator Middle/Lower Mississippi River Water Trail describing it. This includes newspapers, magazines, bloggers, local media, documenters, and any other form of media.

Daily Schedule:

Coffee (or tea) at sunrise, breakfast one hour later. Pack up and get on river around 9am. Paddle and explore 2 hours. 1 hour lunch at noon. Paddle and explore all afternoon. Camp around 5pm. We will probably average about 5 hours/day of paddle time in the canoe. This expedition is all about exploration, discovery, and sharing. We like to stop and explore along the way. So when there are interesting sites to see, we stop a lot, maybe once every hour for a 15 min to 1/2 hour (maybe as long as 2 hour or even half day if schedule allows) walk or hike for documentation, or tracking, bird watching, beachcombing, swim, or whatever. Lunch is usually an hour. Also, a mid-day nap sure feels good on the river! There is room in the itinerary for flexibility… so if the weather is bad, or the crew is worn out, we might stay on shore one full day, and each person will be at leisure to do as they please. On the other hand some days we be “voyageur-style” and stay in the canoe longer (maybe 2-3 hours at a time for a total of 8-12 hours of paddling) to make distance, or because the weather is bad.

Food & Gear:

Outfitter Quapaw Canoe Company provides all necessary river gear & emergency equipment. Normally we prepare all food & refreshments, drinks include water, teas and coffee. Alcoholic beverages BYOB. We will pack all necessary cookware and eating utensils, as well as camp tables and camp chairs. Pack favorite snacks. Vegetarian and vegan options available.

Bring all personal gear and stuff into our waterproof drybags before launching (or use your own). These are backpack-style bags made of tough waterproof material - great for packing on a rainy day! It takes three complete fold to make them water-proof, be sure to lock all four buckles! If you have any questions, check with your guide.

Be prepared for everything from heavy rain to hot days with intense sun UV exposure! Sunlight is surprisingly strong on the river, even in the winter (you get the sun twice – once from above and once reflected from below). Sunburn is our number one complaint and has caused more than one Mississippi River paddler very painful days and sleepless nights. Be forewarned! Sunglasses, sun screen, long sleeve clothing and a wide brim hat are all good ideas, especially for anyone particularly sensitive.

Camping equipment and wetsuits: You will need tent, sleeping bag, pad, wet (or dry) suit and neoprene (or comparable) boots. We can supply to anyone who needs them. Otherwise, bring your own and pack with your gear into our dry bags.


Remote islands, sandbars, towheads, usually sandy places, sometimes it’s necessary to make a muddy landing. In inclement weather it might be necessary to find shelter within the forest. This is primitive camping on a river island, no services of any sort. Bring everything you need to make yourself comfortable. Bring your own toiletry. Bring a change of warm clothing, including summer months, when mornings can be cool. It’s always cooler on the river.

Upcoming Events:

Fri, Mar 17th, Wearing the Green, Singing the Blues, Fundraiser for the Jonestown Family Center for Education and Wellness. 8pm until at Ground Zero Blues Club, Clarksdale, MS. Featuring Stan Street, Heather Crosse, Lee Williams and Friends.

March 20 -May 10: Rivergator Celebratory Expedition March-May 2017. Now filing seats! You can sign up for the 6-week expedition from St. Louis to the Gulf of Mexico celebrating the completion of the Rivergator: one million words describing the Lower Mississippi. Your participation in this celebration will help make it a success!

April 20-23: Juke Joint Festival. Downtown Clarksdale is transformed into a paradise for blues musicians and fans. Juke Joint Festival is "half blues festival, half small-town fair and all about the Delta." It celebrates our past AND living history by presenting over 100 blues acts during the course of the weekend -- most of them Mississippi or Southern, many in their 60s, 70s, 80s or even 90s! This is the real-deal Mississippi blues festival that you've read about. It is like no other in the world. Go to for more info.

April 21-22 Southbound Music Festival, Cherry Street, Helena, AR. Helena Arkansas lies on the banks of the Mississippi River at the foot of the Ozark Mountains and the top of the western delta. A million years ago it was the confluence of two great rivers that carved out its geographical shape. Because of this gumbo of mud and clay and water, it created another gumbo. One of music. (Keep reading below for more). Go to or more info.

April 28-30 Mississippitopia, Choctaw Lake, Ackerman, Mississippi — will be the largest outdoor recreation education workshop/symposium in the State of Mississippi and a “First for Mississippi.” The 3-Day weekend workshop/conference-style event is scheduled for April 28-30, 2017, at Choctaw Lake Recreation Area in Ackerman, Mississippi. for more information.

Coming up in Fall 2017: Quapaw Canoe Company Artist’s Retreat! One week on the Mississippi River with your pens, paints, paper, guitar — whatever your tools of creativity are. Bring your gear, we’ll take of the rest including guiding, outfitting, meals and campsite. By hand-crafted voyageur canoe.


14TH ANNUAL EDITION OF JUKE JOINT FESTIVAL & RELATED EVENTS — coming Thursday to Sunday, April 20-23, 2017

*** Please support your favorite fest. Scroll to the bottom of this web page to DONATE TODAY! (Thanks, y'all!) ***


Juke Joint Festival is "half blues festival, half small-town fair and all about the Delta." It celebrates our past AND living history by presenting over 100 blues acts during the course of the weekend -- most of them Mississippi or Southern, many in their 60s, 70s, 80s or even 90s! This is the real-deal Mississippi blues festival that you've read about. It is like no other in the world.

During the daytime, you can expect at least a dozen small stages with authentic blues. At night, we feature all of our surviving juke joints, blues clubs and other indoor stages — last year included 20+ venues.

The 2017 edition of the festival will be held in tribute to our fallen blues friends with ties to the event and/or our town, including bluesmen LC Ulmer & Elmo Williams, juke joint owner Willie "Po Monkey" Seaberry, Ground Zero's Amos "Toot Toot" Harper Sr., blues journalist Jean-Pierre Urbain and Red's deejay/doorman Dr. Dingo — who passed away in 2016.


Our next Juke Joint Festival is Saturday, April 22, 2017, with exciting related events on starting at 5pm on Thursday, April 20th and carrying through the night of Sunday, April 23rd. (Related events on that Sunday include the always free and fabulous Cat Head Blues Fest at 10am as well as the Second Street Blues Party in front of the Rock & Blues Museum.) By the way, regardless of our many Clarksdale festivals, we have live blues 7 nights a week, anyway, year around!


The home of this much acclaimed festival? Historic CLARKSDALE, MISSISSIPPI — less than 90 minutes south of the Memphis International Airport and once home to such blues greats at Son House, John Lee Hooker, Junior Parker, Ike Turner, Eddie Boyd, Sam Cooke, Muddy Waters, Pinetop Perkins, Earl Hooker, Lil Green, Big Jack Johnson and many many others. It's the land of the Crossroads, and EVERYONE is invited. Our town's motto is "Come as you are!" Southern hospitality is a real thing here.


It’s a positive event for everyone in Clarksdale. It’s good for families, businesses, musicians and tourists alike. The festival itself combines an international “blues festival” with a community-minded “small-town fair,” creating a strong and memorable event like no other in the universe. It’s organized by the nonprofit (501c3) Clarksdale Downtown Development Association (CDDA) and supported by legions of enthusiastic volunteers. This “half small-town fair, half blues festival” does more than simply entertain attendees — though it definitely does that, too! It aims to educate and enlighten native Deltans and blues tourists alike through a series of performances, exhibits, and presentations involving music, art, storytelling, film, and children’s events. The event mixes visitors with locals and showcases the economic power of cultural tourism, turning average Deltans into ambassadors for the region.


Speaking of economics, last year’s festival was our most successful yet with full hotels and expanded press coverage. Festival attendees came from almost all 50 U.S. states, over 50 Mississippi counties and over two dozen foreign countries. The Juke Joint Festival makes every effort to keep vendors, talent and suppliers as local as possible. A family-friendly event, the festival also provides a bus service at night to discourage drinking and driving between music venues. Our daytime Saturday events are all FREE while our nighttime Saturday events all come for the price of a cheap ($20 pre-sale or $25 that night) wristband which gets you unlimited rides on the blues shuttle bus and entry to at least 20 nighttime 'juke joint' venues.


Join us for our 7th annual CLARKSDALE FILM FESTIVAL, January 26-28, 2017. On the heels of our successful Juke Fest event, CDDA is proud to bring y'all a fabulous, film-based happening in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Please join us for a long weekend of new, indie and classic films celebrating our region's music, culture and people. From documentary shorts to fictional features, from blues movies to Southern favorites... Delta Cinema (11 Third St., downtown) and the New Roxy (on Issaquena, downtown) will screen an amazing selection of known and unknown masterpieces. On the Saturday of the Clarksdale Film Festival, we'll also run a couple Clarksdale Movie History Bus Tours with historian Robert Birdsong as your host. Plus, since we're in Clarksdale — the original Home of the Blues — we'll also showcase plenty of live blues in the jukes at night. Details added weekly on our "Film Festival" page of this web site or at


If you are interested in helping us put on either of these wonderful non-profit events -- or just need some additional information -- please contact one of us listed below. We are always in need of donations, sponsors and volunteers. Thanks for your consideration!


your nonprofit

Clarksdale Downtown Development Assoc.

(and its army of fabulous volunteers)

PS - Please be cool, y'all! PLEASE NOTE: The “Juke Joint Festival” name and logo are registered trademarks and cannot be used by outside parties without the express written consent of the Clarksdale Downtown Development Association/Juke Joint Festival. Third parties may not create unauthorized “Juke Joint Festival” products (e.g. T-shirts and apparel) or advertising (e.g. event banners and print ads).


PO BOX 1030

Clarksdale, MS 38614

Phone: 662-624-5992

FAX: 662-624-8222



Roger Stolle

Phone: 662-624-5992



Pat Rankin

Phone: 662.624.4066



Nan Hughes

Phone: 662- 624-4066




APRIL 21 & 22 2017


Helena Arkansas lies on the banks of the Mississippi River at the foot of the Ozark Mountains and the top of the western delta. A million years ago it was the confluence of two great rivers that carved out its geographical shape. Because of this gumbo of mud and clay and water, it created another gumbo. One of music. It takes strains of Ozark mountain folk mixed with delta field hollers. Hard scrabble and hard times. A toughness that was necessary to survive. Soulful, but with an attitude. Not a sweet soul like the Memphis sound. Those were city folk, where life was easier. These were country folk that had to fight to survive and didn’t take handouts from nobody. This is the same dirt that borne Levon Helm, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Sonny Boy Williamson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and some mighty fine barbeque. They all have an edge. Like placing water on a blade of a knife, volatile, it could go either way. Just like their music, it could go anyway, at any time. Unpredictable. The spirit in this music and this region is what we want to capture and showcase to the world for years to come with the Southbound Music Festival.

AN AMERICANA MUSIC FESTIVAL. International & Regional Artists. Performing in Multiple Live Venues throughout Downtown, Helena. Unique Original Art Work. Kraft Beers & Regional Cuisine.

We are proud members of the
Mississippi River Network (MRN)

The Lower Mississippi River Dispatch

is brought to you courtesy of

The Lower Mississippi River Foundation

Our Projects:

Rivergator: 1Million words describing the Lower Mississippi River:

Wild Miles: 71% of the Lower Miss is wild according to river rats. Will it stay that way?

Mighty Quapaw Apprenticeship Program: long term apprenticeships developing personal character and young leaders through canoe building, big river guiding, and survival skills on the Lower Mississippi River.

LiNKS = Leave No Kids On Shore

LiNK-ing kids to the big river and mother nature -- with the passion of a LYNX.

Every LiNK in the chain is as important as the others. Real-time experiences for the betterment of personal health and environmental conservation along the Lower Mississippi River.

Friends of the Sunflower River

Established in 2005 for cleanups, paddle events and other educational programming on the Sunflower River.

River Arts

Youth program begun in 2012 as an after-school river activity in conjunction with GRIOT Arts.

Our Friends:

Big Muddy Adventures: custom-guided adventures on the Missouri, Mississippi, Meramec and Illinois -- covering the Grand Central Station of America's rivers from home base St. Louis.

Quapaw Canoe Company:
custom-guided wilderness expeditions on the biggest and wildest river in North America, in our hand crafted cypress strip voyageur canoes. Now with outposts in Memphis, Vicksburg, Helena and Natchez. Home base: Clarksdale, Mississippi.