Northern MN ‘showboat’ tradition on Mighty Miss this weekend

You can still catch one of the coolest theater traditions of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, with this weekend’s closing performances of the Mississippi Melodie Showboat.  

Hometown Focus ran a lovely feature on the annual riverside music tradition in this northern town. You might recall that the boat sank last year. But don’t worry, they’ve got this.

Shows run tonight through Saturday, each one taking place as the sun sets at 9 p.m. Tickets are general admission and cost $10. A number of new people are in this year’s show, including some of my friends who were part of the Bigfork Great Northern Radio Show last winter. For more information, call 218-398-4206 or e-mail

Grand Rapids, of course, is named for a massive set of rapids on the far northern Mississippi River that prevented steamboats from travelling any further north. This made the town the “end of the line” for those travelling the Mississppi by boat, a fact that was instrumental in the city’s early growth. Those rapids were dammed up a century ago for the paper mill, but that dam essentially means the same thing. If you want to go further you’re going to have to get out of the water.


  1. Debra Daigle says

    Does showboat have any recordings from previous years? I am particularly interested in 1980-1982; looking for performances of Dean Tibbitts.

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