, Muskogee, OK

Local News

April 27, 2014

Festival focuses on benefits of the Illinois River

People who go to the Illinois River Heritage Festival will not only have a good time, but may learn something as well.

The purpose of the festival is to focus on “how the Illinois River recreation impacts Tahlequah’s economy,” said Cassandra Carter, educational outreach coordinator for the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission.

Music, art and photography displays and activities for the children will be featured during the festival.

The event is scheduled for 1 to 5 p.m. May 4 at Norris Park in downtown Tahlequah, 400 N. Muskogee Ave., Carter said.

Music, displays and events at the festival will be offered free of charge.

The outreach coordinator from the Illinois River Watershed Partnership will be at the festival.

“She will be able to discuss issues and answer questions,” Carter said.

Educational information and activities will be presented to the children during the festival. Representatives from Blue Thumb, a volunteer water monitoring program, will be there and will use an interactive model to show kids “how their actions can affect the quality of water,” Carter said.

A display about the Combs Bridge also will be featured during the festival. The bridge, which is being replaced, is a well-known structure on the river.

“A lot of people have a lot of memories” about the bridge, Carter said. “It’s a very nostalgic landmark.”

Displays by artists and photographers will focus on how the Illinois River has shaped their work, Carter said.

Musical entertainment will be provided by a number of musicians, including Dennis and Kathy Tibbits, Dan Garber and Wes Combs, and Rocket Spurgeon.

Kickin’ Taco and J&L’s NYC Hot Dog trucks will be on site to sell food and beverages.

There also will be several prize raffles, including a float/motel package from Hanging Rock Camps and a kayak.

Anyone interested in increasing their chances of winning a kayak can visit “Like” the page and share Heritage Festival posts. Each share is one extra entry in the kayak drawing, Carter said.

The festival is sponsored by Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission, and Save the Illinois River Inc.

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or

If you go

WHAT: Illinois River Heritage Festival.

WHEN: 1 to 5 p.m. May 4.

WHERE: Norris Park, 400 N. Muskogee Ave., downtown Tahlequah.

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