Thousands expected at America's River Festival in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Thousands expected at America's River Festival in Dubuque

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Event organizers expect anywhere from 15,000-18,000 people to converge on the Port of Dubuque this weekend for America's River Festival.

The normally two-day festival kicked off Thursday night with a free show from country band Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, who was rained out of last year's festival.

Now the focus shifts to the two traditional nights of the festival: country and classic rock nights.

Old Dominion will be joined by Tucker Beathard and William Michael Morgan at tonight's country night.

And Styx headlines classic rock night, joined by Guess Who and Little River Band.

"We get a lot of people down here. It's a tremendous draw. It's been a great thing for the area, and continues to be. So, in my opinion, and I might be prejudiced, but yeah, this is probably one of the top events in the tri-state area," said Keith Rahe, one of the event's organizers.

Setup started earlier this week--a fast and furious effort to get ready for thousands of people.

"We basically take a parking lot and build a major festival ground. And that takes a lot of work, lot of time and effort. And then when it's all done on Sunday, break it down, and get it out of here, by Monday morning it's a parking lot again," Rahe said.

This weekend's forecast also calls for very hot and muggy weather, especially Saturday.

Rahe said they'll have plenty of water and spots to cool down.

For much more on the festival, including information on a craft beer festival Saturday afternoon, visit

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