From the Project's inception, fund-raising was the the key to making the America's River Dream become reality. In the years since, thousands of people, organizations, and companies have donated their money, time, labor, and talents toward making that dream come true. Countless volunteer hours have be chalked up to scores of fund-raising events, festivals, and presentations. From a $2.00 beer purchased at Taste of Dubuque to $40 Million Dollars from Vision Iowa, the project has creatively put every fund raising concept into motion; and with a $188 million dollar price tag, they needed to! While funding efforts continue and support is needed now as much as ever, the project has raised enough funding to move ahead.

Below, we are highlighting just a few of the innumerable public fund-raising efforts that have taken place in our community to support the America's River Project. It would be nearly impossible to list them all, but 365 was lucky enough to take an active role in a few and we bring you the highlights of those events here. We sincerely hope that you take time to get out and support these events as they reoccur this year working to bring us ever closer to the dream.

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Taste of Dubuque

Taste of Dubuque is the party to beat all parties. It is a day-long celebration of food, music and good times and it all happens on the grounds of the America's River Project. As a huge fund-raiser and awareness raiser for the project, it is the event at which the groundbreaking for the America's River Project took place. It grows in size and scope annually. In 2001, it had to move to make way for construction to begin on the River Discovery Center. Perhaps a blessing in disguise, the event may not have fit in the usual space in the year 2001. Despite intense heat, Dubuquers and visitors showed up in force.


Taste of Dubuque Photo Archive! was there all day and we have the pictures and the tan lines to prove it.
Click the image above to visit 365's huge photo gallery of The Taste of Dubuque 2001.


Tri-States Largest Chili Cook-Off
The Tri-States Largest Chili Cook-Off is one of those pre-existing events that switched its fund-raising focus to the America's River Project in recent years. A nationally sanctioned chili cooking competition, the cook-off is also a fall celebration in historic Cable Car Square in downtown Dubuque, featuring live music, dancing, a variety of foods, tons of kids' games, cold beer, and of course hundreds of gallons of five alarm chili. In its tenth year, the event is now run annually by Jan Feltes and is held the first Sarurday in October at the corner of Fourth and Bluff Streets in Dontown Dubuque. Click any image below to browse a collection of images from last years' event.
"Sugar" Ray knows more than BBQ, that's for sure!

Coordinator, Jan Feltes
See the Pictures!

America's River Walk
The America's River Walk was one of the first fund-raising efforts on behalf of the America's River Project. Project organizers were joined by many local supporters of the project to not only raise funds for the most ambitious project in the history of Dubuque, but also to bring awareness to the project while it was still in its infancy.


Summer's Last Blast
Started in 2000 as a muti-day send-off to summer by Music & More Promotions - a group of young, local, live music enthusiasts, the Blast raised an astonishing $10,000 plus for America's River in its first year. The following year the event was tied to an America's River pin promotion that gave pin buyers discounts around the tri-states on a range of goods from gas to concert tickets. The pin promotion culminated at Summer's Last Blast 2001 where a beautiful speedboat was given away to a lucky pin owner while the crowd rocked to hitmakers Nine Days and local favorites like Middle-town, The Uninvited, and many more. The Blast featured Wang Chung the previous year. Watch for another great event from Music and More when this summer winds to a close.


Vision Iowa
The most important single contribution to the America's River Project, the one that really put it over the top, was the funding received from the Vision Iowa Program, an ambitious community improvement fund launched by Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. Dubuque was the first city to receive Vision Iowa funds and set the bar for future cities to strive to match. As active participants in the Vision Iowa campaign, we at were able to see the immense manhours that went into the detailed and perfectly planned America's River application and presentation. We commend the Dubuque County Historical Society staff, Jerry Enzler, and Teri Goodman in particular for their steadfast dedication to reaching their goal. The Dubuque Vision Iowa team was a model group of citizens which many other Iowa cities tried later to emmulate.


Named Contributions
Many individuals and organizations donated large enough sums of money to the America's River Project to have their names attached to specific portions of the project. With many large and wealthy corporations eager to participate, it was the dedication of smaller civic groups such as the Jaycees, Rotary, and the Knights of Colombus who reached beyond themselves to make donations and pledges that would tax the bulk of their incomes for years to come, that made an impact. This impact was felt not only in the cash needed to finish the project, but also in the clout needed to legitamize the project in the eyes of state, national, and world-wide funders. Their promise is a symbol of our community's belief in the importance of this project for generations to come.
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