Ever wonder what it feels like to go on a riverboat and not lose a wad of cash (or an ounce of dignity)? Find out this weekend at the annual Great Rivers Towboat Festival
at the Grafton, Illinois, riverfront just west of the loading dock (618-786-7000 or www.greatriverroad.com
). With two days filled with historic exhibits, storytelling, towboat tours, a variety of music, miniature towboat demonstrations and tasty Southern barbecue, the only gamble will be seeing if you can win the tow-rope-throwing contest. No joke -- the contest will be held on Saturday at 2 p.m. for cash prizes. The festivities run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday (June 23 and 24). Guided towboat tours will be from noon to 4 p.m. both days (unless it rains). The event is free, so start honing your tow-rope-throwing skills today!