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River Celebrations

Mississippi River Revival

CCP staff and Audubon Ark crew

Larry Long founded the Mississippi River Revival, a campaign to clean-up the Mississippi River. With his voice and guitar Larry organized communities from the head waters at Lake Itasca to Dubuque, Iowa. Through this period Larry produced over twenty river festivals, hauled hundreds of tons of trash out of the river with community volunteers along the upper Mississippi River, worked with Governor Perpich to create the clean rivers movement in Minnesota, and traveled the length of the Mississippi River with Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theater.

Audubon Ark 2000

In the month of October 2000, communities in 20 towns along 483 miles of the Mississippi River honored, celebrated and taught about the river, its habitat and its communities.

During the 28 day journey, Larry Long wrote 48 verses with children to his song I love the Mississippi River; we sang and danced with local musicians & children across cultures from Latin American dancers to gospel choirs and and polka bands; we organized the creation of a river quilt; children drew colorful pictures of the river and river life; students honored Elders; and we used learning stations to educate students.

Community Celebration of Place organized these local communities for the National Audubon Society's Upper Mississippi River Campaign. Based on the Elders' Wisdom, Children's Song model, CCP Assistant Director Ellen Weiss coached teachers, conservationists, and business leaders through an organizing process that brings people together across cultures and ages by using local art, song, honoring Elders and gathering oral histories.

The celebrations were held for the Audubon Ark, a stern wheeler that traveled from Cairo, Illinois to the Quad Cities and stopped in every town along the way.

Save Our History!

Thank you for your many contributions on Give to the Max Day.

We can not do this work without you.


My heartfelt thanks to Larry Long and all the voices from which our history continues to generate encouragement, enthusiasm and wisdom.

Arlo Guthrie, Songwriter, Son of Woody Guthrie

Read more

News & Events

Community Celebration of Place is partnering with Little Free Library on Saturday, May 21, in Minneapolis, Minnesota for the first-ever Little Free Library Festival.

Join highly acclaimed author Kent Nerburn and Larry Long, Executive Director of Community Celebration of Palce for an evening of songs, stories and music.

During 2016, it is a primary program of Community Celebration of Place to transfer their collection into archives that will be open to the public for generations to come.