Cairo sets Riverboat Days events

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

CAIRO, Ill. -- Cairo Riverboat Days, which started 12 years ago as a one-day event, will open for a five-day run Oct. 3.

The festival started in July 1990 and featured a competition between the crews of the Mississippi Queen and Delta Queen steamboats, which docked at Cairo during the annual New Orleans to St. Louis "Race of the Queens."

The Queens changed their scheduling in 1993, and Cairo changed its Riverboat Days format from July to October.

The highlight event is the annual Riverboat Ball and Pageant at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Cairo Armory, where 14 contestants vie for the title of Miss Riverboat Queen.

A lot of activities are on the schedule, including the first-day golf tournament at Stone Creek Golf Course in Makanda, Ill.

The big paddle wheelers won't be here, but the annual event is expected to attract some large crowds, said Monica Smith, who co-chairs the event with Jeff Farris.

'River dreams'

The theme of the 10th extravaganza is "Autumn Leaves and River Dreams."

People can drive around the St. Mary's Park residential area Thursday, Oct. 4, where residents will display flickering luminary displays and yard decorations. Winners of a lawn-decorating contest will be announced Thursday, and awards presented for "full-yard" and "small display" categories.

The schedule also includes the Little Miss Riverboat Pageant Friday.

Highlights of the week include a 1:30 p.m. Saturday Kim Shrine/Riverboat Days parade, starting at 20th and Commercial streets, then marching to Washington and continuing downtown.

Also on the Saturday schedule is a citywide yard sale; the Riverboat Ball.

A historic church tour will be held Sunday.

rowen@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 133

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