River Rats sets events for birthday

Boonville — The Missouri River Rats for the Arts are ready to celebrate 10 years of art in the Boonslick. On September 7, they will put this celebration in full swing with an event beginning at 4 p.m., which will be located at Turner Hall located at 518 Vine Street.
A release from the River Rats stated the party is a thank you to the community for supporting the River Rats for the last 10 years, the event is free and open to all ages to attend. Food and drink will be available during the evening for a small fee benefiting 4H and the Boonville 11 under ball players.
In June of 2003, a group of like-minded individuals formed to entertain and enrich the community through performance and visual art. Later that August, the name Turner Hall River Rats for the Arts was coined.
“We wanted to provide a niche in the community to bring people together,” said the group’s first Secretary/Treasurer Judy Shields in a 2003 Boonville Daily News article.
In the same article, Turner Hall co-owner David Oswald said, society has changed but added individuals need to get back to interacting with their neighbor.  
For the last 10 years the River Rats have brought good neighbors together through art and entertainment.
The party will start off with art projects and a birthday cake with kids in mind, but the young at heart are welcome too. The evening will continue with more outdoor art projects like community painting of a canvas and truck, street decorating, and rat painting – nothing live, only the cardboard variety.
Two very special personalities well known to Boonslick audiences will guide partygoers through the night introducing acts and adding comedic flair.
“The evening will be filled with highlighted performances from years past River Rats favorites like Love Notes and the Three Minute Plays, along with more unexpected fun and games from our imrov group,” said River Rat President Tracy Jones.
A street dance starting at 8 p.m. will cap the evening’s celebration featuring Columbia’s own ‘Rockin’, Rhythm and Blues Band’, the Bel Airs.
Founding member and Turner Hall co-owner Leslie Oswald said individuals should bring a chair for comfort,
"Plan to get up and put on your dancing shoes," said Oswald.
The birthday party is the second installment of a yearlong celebration that started with participation in the Boonville Heritage Days Parade this past June, and will continue until May. Tentative plans include a public art project designed to leave a lasting legacy highlighting public stewardship of the arts and environment.