Country stars heading to New Athens

Travis Tritt is brining his country show to New Athens.
Travis Tritt is brining his country show to New Athens. Lexington Herald-Leader

Country music artists Joe Diffie, Travis Tritt, Diamond Rio, The Kentucky Headhunters and Will Hoge will headline five spring and summer concert events at The Kaskaskia Riverhouse in New Athens (formerly known as Smitty’s Marina).

The first show is May 24.

“We’re kicking off the summer with a great show, bringing in Joe Diffie and continuing throught the season with not only country concerts, but other acts and events as well,” said Scott Kiefer, promotions director for the events.

“The Riverhouse will also be hosting a three-day blues festival July 3, 4 and 5, The National Crawfish and Gumbo Festival Aug. 29, and the return of the Lucas Oil Drag Boat Races Sept. 19 and 20.”

The Kaskaskia Riverhouse will have its grand opening soon.

“The marina as you’ve always known it is no longer,” Kiefer said. “The owners are completely gutting the entire building and starting anew with remodeling of the building from the floor to the ceiling. The reovations are quite extensive, and former customers won’t recognize the place.”

The Kaskaskia Riverhouse is now owned by Stan Sirtak and Jeff Stahl, brothers-in-law, who are planning a complete renovation of the entire property, including the parking area and campgrounds.

For the concerts, a complete stage and rigging are being brought in, however there are plans for the construction of an amphitheatre complete with permanent seating.

“Stan and Jeff are totally committed to not only New Athens, but to the Southwestern Illinois region as a whole,” Kiefer said. “They are committed to making the Kaskaskia Riverhouse not just a restaurant and river bar, but a destination location.

Tickets for the Diffie and Diamond Rio shows are $20. There are also VIP upgrades and other packages available at www.kaskaskiariverhouse.com. Ticket prices and on-sale dates for the other events will be announced soon.

Kaskaskia Riverhouse events

May 24 — Joe Diffie with songwriters Steve Williams and Thom Shepherd, and Dixie Express. Tickets $20.

June 13 — Diamond Rio with Well Hungarians. $20.

June 26-28 — Ragefest

July 3-5 — New Athens Bluesfest on the River features 35 bands including Big George Brock and Paul Bonn.

Aug. 1 — The Kentucky Headhunters country songstress Stella James, and Miranda Hagan.

Aug. 29 — The National Crawfish and Gumbo Festival featuring chefs from Louisiana, Florida and across the country. Entertainment includes Zydeco Crawdaddies, Bill “The Sauce Boss” Wharton, The Funky Butt Brass Band.

Sept. 6 — Travis Tritt. The Wounded Warrior concert, with special guest Natalie Stovall.

Sept. 19-20 — Lucas Oil Dragboat Races

Sept. 26 — The 97.5 Rock Festival

Oct. 10 Will Hoge and Sunday Best