The Mississippi Megalops, presented at Northern Spark in 2011, was so successful that the creators are back this summer with a similar art-, history-, and science-infused boat extravaganza. It's called River City Revue and takes place aboard the Jonathan Padelford Riverboat. The Mississippi River Fund, a nonprofit partner of the National Parks Service, is hoping to make the event an annual program that brings together a hodgepodge of artists, scientists, park rangers, musicians, and more. Katie Nyberg, MRF's executive director, says she's excited about the series because it will entice a whole new crowd to experience how great the river is. The first excursion takes place this Wednesday, and features captain and host Andy Sturdevant, with river storytelling by national park ranger David Wiggins; talks on the history of brewing along the river by Dan Dressler, and the history of waste-water treatment in the Twin Cities by Larry Rognacki; New Orleans jazz by Southside Aces; and a presentation by sculptor Aaron Dysert on his Soap Boat project, a 600-pound rowboat made out of soap and that he floated down the Mississippi River. "People come because one thing grabs their interest, and leave being interested in more than the one thing they came to see," says Nyberg. More information can be found at riverrides.com, and tickets are available at www.missriverfund.org.
Wed., July 18, 7 p.m.; Wed., Aug. 1, 7 p.m.; Wed., Aug. 15, 7 p.m., 2012