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April 29, 2019
In 1812 the first steamboat sailed the Mississippi River. Flatboats floated goods downriver to New Orleans. The boat was sold for the lumber and crew walked home on the Natchez Trace. Only Keelboats could deliver upstream with sails and a work crew with paddles. The keelboat Aux Ark is coming to Florence for the Martha Crawley Incident May 3 & 4th at McFarland Park. It arrives Thursday May 2, berthed at the Marina. This weekend will be the only chance to be in the keelboat work crew and have a photo made with the Captain.

The Martha Crawley event is sponsored by the Alabama Chapter of the Natchez Trace Parkway Association (NTPA), a non-profit 501-C3. NTPA is the friend of the Natchez Trace Parkway – a National Park joining Natchez to Nashville.  On average, 13 million vehicles travel the trace each year. Our event is to encourage some to detour and visit our community. In addition, the objective is to teach an important facet of history not well known that created most of the State of Alabama.  The event includes 32 Choctaw dancers, the keelboat and a dozen Living History soldiers.  There is no cost to attend an epic event on Friday and Saturday. Donations and grants are essential.

This the deal. The work crew that takes the keelboat on the river will be four or five adults (male or female, age 19 and above) who can donate $50 to NTPA.  At the most in two days there may be five to ten excursions.  The keelboat’s role in this outdoor theater will end about noon or 1 PM and be available for excursions.  If you can agree to this donation, your name will be posted on the Shoals Chamber of Commerce website.  Work Crew will be contacted by NTPA to assign a seat your choice Friday or Saturday. On your day, bring the donation check to the NTPA Welcome Table at McFarland Park for your seat on the Work Crew. There will be life preservers.

Keelboat excursions begin a 1:00 PM Friday and Saturday. With a $50 donation or more to the highest bidders, you can be a part of the Work Crew. This is a unique experience that will wow your best friends and relatives. Don’t miss out.

Robert Perry, 918-500-3467

Robert Perry
(918) 500-3467