Light up the Great River Road

Where can you go to enjoy live music paired with spectacular fireworks? Think Thursday nights in Alton and Grafton.

Both communities, located along the Meeting of the Great Rivers National Scenic Byway just outside St. Louis in Illinois, will be home to the sounds of live music and dazzling night time fireworks displays every Thursday night from June through September.

Spectacular light shows will sparkle along the Mississippi River in both communities simultaneously starting at 9:30 p.m. along each city’s respective river fronts. The Light Up the Great River Road 10 to 15-minute light show provides a brilliant back drop to live music and evening events in both communities.

Listen to some of the best regional musicians perform at Alton’s Night Market on Broadway every Thursday evening. From 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. vendors and musicians entertain and sell their wares at this popular farmers market spin-off. Located in the park adjacent to Jacoby Arts Center, 627 E. Broadway, in downtown Alton, it’s a great place to relax and listen to live music in an outdoor setting. Browse local artists’ work, purchase hand crafted products or channel your inner hipster and pick up vintage and hip thrift items. The market is free to attend. Regional bands including HOOKiE, Tony & The Saints, The BuzzTones and more will take the stage at the market throughout the summer.

The Night Market on Broadway is an ideal spot to enjoy the Alton fireworks which will shine in the night sky just a few blocks away.

For more live music options, head to Fast Eddie’s Bon Air, Alton’s original dive bar, which features cold drinks and cheap food daily. Live music is also on tap. Or check out The Conservatory, 554 E. Broadway, a newly opened live music venue which is filled with music-themed art and up and coming new musicians.

The Owlz

Head over to the Alton Marina on Thursday, July 15 for a free open air concert prior to the fireworks. The Owlz will perform at the Marina Pavillion from 7 to 10:30 p.m.

Honky Tonk country, pop, classic rock, bluegrass and even the sounds of Sinatra roll across downtown Grafton every Thursday night during the summer. Outdoor concerts are held at The Grove Memorial Park as part of Grafton Music in the Park. The annual summer concert program brings the sounds of Jake Weber and the Lonesome Drifters, the Triology Band, Rockabilly Revival and more to the city’s riverfront. Immediately following each concert, the night skies will light up with the fireworks displays which will launch from Lighthouse Park located on the edge of the Mississippi River.

Additional live music is available in Grafton every weekend. Check out the Hawg Pit, Aerie’s Resort and The Loading Dock for even more musical entertainment.

Need more information? Here are some Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the dates of the fireworks?

Every Thursday night in Alton and Grafton, June 3 through Sept 9 (break week of July 4th)

What time are the fireworks?

Fireworks will begin at 9:30 p.m. and the show will last around 10-15 minutes

Where will the fireworks launch in Alton?

Alton fireworks will be shot off at Landmarks and Henry (Alton Farmers market location)Riverfront park will be closed. Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater will also be closed for safety precautions.

Where are the best places to view fireworks in Alton?

  • Old Bakery Beer Company
  • Gentelin’s on Broadway
  • Bluff City Grill
  • Argosy Casino
  • The Conservatory
  • My Just Desserts Parking Lot
  • Riverbend Headstart Parking Lot
  • Alton City Hall Parking Lot
  • Parking lot at North Piasa and Broadway
  • Jacoby Arts Parking Lot, Night Market will be open