EAST ALTON — The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center and the Old Bakery Beer Company are co-hosting an evening with Dean Klinkenberg, aka the Mississippi Valley Traveler, at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 23, at the Old Bakery Beer Company in Alton.
Klinkenberg, of St. Louis, will present “The Mississippi River in Song: A Musical History Tour.” This event is free and open to the public.
“There are hundreds of songs about the Mississippi River,” Klinkenberg said. “I sample from those songs to take the audience on a musical float trip through the history of the Mississippi River, talking about river towns, transportation, monsters and flooding, while mixing clips from songs about the river with stories of the people and places of the Mississippi Valley.”
Klinkenberg is on a mission to explore the rich history and diverse cultures of the Mississippi River Valley, from the headwaters in northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. He started chasing this idea in January 2007 by spending a couple of days in the Quad Cities. He’s still going with more than 125,000 miles of driving on the Great River Road under his belt.
“I’m always looking for ways to tell the stories of the Mississippi River, and there are many,” Klinkenberg said. “Some stories are in the three travel guides I wrote for parts of the Upper Mississippi. Other stories will appear in Frank Dodge series of mysteries.”
Klinkenberg’s fourth book, a mystery called “Rock Island Lines,” was released in November 2014.
“Invite your family, friends, acquaintances; people off the street,” Field Station Manager and Science Liaison Ted Kratschmer said. “This is going to be an entertaining event in an awesome venue, so come on out, have a beer, eat some food and listen to some Mississippi river music and history.”
The National Great Rivers Research and Education Center is a partnership of Lewis and Clark Community College and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For information, visit www.ngrrec.org.