Tall Stacks - October, 2003
It was a great festival,. Atmosphere, Riverboats and great artists on stage. We started off the festival on Thursday night with a cruise on the Island Queen. But, it wasn't just any cruise, it was the Cincinnati Ski Club cruise with Elvis (or is that Elvi as there were two impersonators).
Elvis impersonators, a riverboat, the river and good friends. Life is good!
We had fireworks every night over the river. Made for spectacular evenings.
The atmosphere was enhanced by all the volunteers in period costumes. Below is a civil war officer and his wife.
Six fine southern Bells.
This is a steam organ. The whistles are powered by steam. It is played off an organ style keyboard. These things were aboard several of the riverboats but it was fun to see this guy playing on on a barge for entertainment.
They had SawyerTown set up. The area had a mixture of things for young and old. One of the themes was to show the youth of today how things were in the 1800's. Part of the teaching was games - jacks, roller hoops and below, marbles.
They also were showing the kids how easy they have it today. Below a girl is learning how to do laundry with a scrub board.
Cincinnati regards itself as a riverboat town. We have riverboats that reside in the town full time. Below is a monument beside the ballpark that has a big paddle wheel and steam whistles.
The riverboats came to town. Below is the Belle of Louisville. She is one of the last original Mississippi River-style steamboats in existence and is now a National Historic Landmark.
The dining area.
Like all boats she has a port and starboard lights. The old style oil lamps now have electric bulbs in them.
The engine room is quite the steam room. On the left side of the picture you can see one of the reciprocating pistons that drives the paddle wheel. Many of the riverboats that were in town had a propeller with a paddlewheel that was for show only. But, some were real paddle wheel driven, such as the Belle of Louisville.
At the end of run the wheel is greased by pushing grease down into the bushing.
A brass plaque inside the Belle commemorating her historical significance.
There were two big full time boats on the river at Tall Stacks. The first one is the Mississippi Queen. She is relatively new (launched in 1976) but built for comfort as her passengers enjoy week long cruises on the river.
The big ones, like the Mississippi Queen had to fold down their smoke stacks to get under the bridges.
The Mississippi Queen has her organ going strong as she goes by.
The other big cruiser is the Delta Queen. She was built in 1947 in Glasgow, Scotland. A beautiful boat.
The General Jackson - a showboat from Nashville.
The Majestic from Pittsburgh.
Not all the boats were big. Below is the Chattanooga Star - a paddle wheel on each side. She could turn around on a dime.
Below is the PA Denny, a real paddle boat. Look at that wheel work.
The two big girls, Mississippi Queen and the Delta Queen tied up.
The riverboats were all tied up along the river at different times. It was great to see them all.
Over on the Kentucky side there was a collection of tug boats (even though they push and don't tug). There was a new one and some old, out of service boats. It was fun to go on board and see how life was / is on a work boat.
To keep us all safe, Homeland Security was there with a gun boat.
The mystery boat. We kept seeing a boat pushing around a tent barge. We could not figure it out until we saw it pull up behind a Rumpke truck - it's the garbage barge.
Then there was the entertainment side. I saw a LOT of great acts.
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder.
Emmy Lou Harris
The Hackberry Ramblers - still going strong. The band leaders are 90 and 93 years old.
I saw a great show, Dar Williams, Patty Griffin, Shawn Colvin and Mary Chapin Carpenter.
For a little taste of the Blues, Bo Diddley was in town. But, he ended up playing some Rap that was disappointing. All his great work and he was trying to impress us with his Rap skills??
The closing act was the king of blues, BB King. The look on his face when he plays is of a man who loves his job.