In 2004, the Grand Excursion was hosted along the Mississippi as a way to introduce people to our reinvented riverfront. It was the catalyst for what would ultimately become America’s River Festival. Since 2005, America’s River Corporation has hosted the festival in the Port of Dubuque and welcomed thousands of attendees each year. America’s River Festival evolved since it’s humble beginnings, once hosting on-site events like DockDogs, Stihl Timbersports, Cabela’s Fishing Tournaments, and more. What remained constant, however, was the festival’s dedication to bringing quality entertainment to the community of Dubuque. Bands like Little Big Town, Lady Antebellum, and Sam Hunt have performed on the America’s River Festival stage early in their careers and have since continued on to become mainstays in the country music scene. The festival has also played host to iconic classic rock legends like Chicago, REO Speedwagon, Lynyrd Skynyrd and more.
As each of these 15 years passed, Dubuque continued to grow as an entertainment destination. Areas of the community began to flourish and thrive, adding to the cultural vibrancy of the entertainment experience in Dubuque. Live music, performances, and events became integral to the day to day activity of areas like the Port of Dubuque, historic Main Street, Chaplain-Schmitt Island, and historic Millwork District. The America’s River Corporation board and partners have treasured being a part of this experience however, it is time for the festival to make way for the new wave of events in Dubuque. What once started as a signature experience for a community eager to showcase what it had to offer has now become one of many successful events that draw people to the community. After many thoughtful conversations, the America’s River Corporation has decided to end the fifteen-year run of America’s River Festival with the success of the 2019 event.
America’s River Corporation has appreciated the support from its board members, partners, sponsors, vendors, and of course attendees, throughout the years. The success of the festival was not possible without their unwavering commitment to the event year after year. Thank you to each and every person who made America’s River Festival possible.