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Howard Steamboat Museum - Spring Festival

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    Howard Steamboat Museum - Spring Festival

    I'm just back from a very stormy trip last week to the Grand Old South where I saw LOTS of heavy rain and many downed trees (some of them old and HUGE oaks) causing a major power outage in Natchez and closing roads into some of the plantation houses such as Longwood, Melrose, etc. Also, the Mississippi River is on the rise and expected to reach flood stage (48 feet) on the Natchez gauge today, rising to at least 53 feet. Despite the encroaching water, I managed to again visit what's left of the 1921 Howard built Str. MAMIE S. BARRETT at Deer Park, LA and take a few photos, which I will post later this week. The old gal is surely a sorry sight, with collapsing decks and lots of vines and other brush overtaking the sternwheel and superstructure. However, her pilothouse still stands proudly amid the ruins. More about this later!

    The main reason for this posting is to INVITE ONE AND ALL to the 17th annual spring Chautauqua at the Howard Steamboat Museum on Saturday and Sunday, May 16 & 17. We are open on Saturday from 10-6 and Sunday from 10-4. Admission to the grounds and mansion is $3.00, with children under 12 admitted free. I look forward to having Judy Patsch as my able assistant in the steamboat exhibits on the "second deck" of the mansion this year. Judy is a LIFE member of the museum and undoubtedly the volunteer who drives the furthest distance (400+ miles each way) for the good of the cause! Thanks Judy!

    For a complete schedule of the festival events, click on Howard Steamboat Museum - Home Page.

    Rain or shine (and right now they're predicting rain!) we look forward to seeing you!

    "Curator Keith"
    Attached Files

    Festival Forecast Update: They now say that we'll have rain tonight, carrying over into what could be a very "Soggy Saturday" with a 70% chance of thunderstorms all day and a high in the 70's. Sunday afternoon is supposed to be sunny and in the high 60's, so it might be the best choice for attending. Who knows! Bring your umbrella!


      Not in Kansas anymore...

      but then, I never was. The storms predicted for the Howard tomorrow are raging here now, and I had planned to just wait them out and then drive over. But as I was sitting here at the computer, a long piece of metal flew by my second floor window. A quick run out into the rain to pull it off the steps and to check it out - its the fascia sp? and there is more waiting to be ripped off in these high winds. I was able to get a contractor here Monday morning, so that definitely wipes out my weekend sojourn. Here's hoping all the moisture is dumping on us and you can have a nice weekend both inside and outside the Howard Mansion. Ted, have a seafood platter for me at Kingfish. Darn...


        Despite Saturday morning's early thunderstorms which brought heavy rains with plenty of lightning and rolling thunder, the weather improved by opening time and there were over 400 gate admissions, much better than expected. Sunday dawned sunny and delightfully cool, bringing BIG crowds to the festival right up to closing time. I went to the museum early to have time to vacuum the carpeting on the stairs and hallways of all the grass that was tracked into the mansion on Saturday. Also had time to dust model cases and furniture before the onslaught of visitors that began early. Must have been the "pied piper" sounds of Dave's steam calliope drawing folks to the festival! As mentioned in another thread by Travissimo, yours truly did plunk out a couple of tunes, but it was Travis and Dave who did the lion's share at the keyboard, making adjustments and keeping up steam, ably assisted by Zach Morecraft. Yesterday morning, as the sun began to shine brightly, Travis opened the concert, quite appropriately, with "How Great Thou Art". It's always great to visit with steamboatin' friends, but I was "overwhelmed" at times with the crowds on the second floor of the mansion and didn't have much time to socialize! I surely did miss Judy's help, but it was not her fault that she had to cancel out. Blame Mother Nature!

        In between the calliope concerts, Ted Guillaum's band organ floated lilting melodies over the mansion grounds and delighted many, always a crowd pleaser! And the festive dinner at Kingfish on Sunday evening was a wonderful "postlude" to the weekend, with lots of fine fellowship and steamboat stories that abound whenever two or more river minded people gather!

        THANKS TO ALL who assisted in ways great and small to make the 17th annual Chautauqua a BIG success. It's a LOT of hard work that requires a LOT of dedicated people to make it happen -- our biggest fundraiser of the year that largely helps keep the museum open six days a week, year round.