River Rats share birthday with community

It would not be a party if art were not involved for the Missouri River Rats for the Arts birthday celebration. Individuals, including children, got to test their creative skills painting a small truck Saturday evening.
While participatory art was one of the activities outside, inside, individuals could set back in the air-conditioned Turner Hall and watch Tilly Tyrell (Meredith Ludwig) and the Divine Sherry B. (Sherry Broyles) entertain the audience before musical numbers of past 'Love Notes' favorite pieces were performed. Among one of the opening performances was a music number from the musical 'Grease'.
Throughout the evening, three minute plays were performed along with more musical numbers and performances from the River Rats Improv Group.
A brief history was read by Broyles regarding 'Love Notes,' which was started by Janielle Viertal and Tim Nadeau more than 10 years ago. 'Love Notes' has been a staple annual performance around Valentines Day. The performance is centered around songs that deal with love.    
River Rats member Leslie Oswald said the turnout was good despite the early heat, which persisted throughout the day on Saturday.
"The turnout was spread out. The people who came were really appreciative. Kids were having fun dancing in the street," Oswald said.
Oswald said the performances by Broyles and Ludwig added spice to the evening. Ludwig's character Tyrell has been used as the master of ceremonies for the Big Muddy Folk Festival in past years while Broyles' character has been featured on many past 'Love Notes' performances.
The Bel Airs, a blues and rock band from Columbia performed later in the evening. Oswald said the band has a good following, which brought out many people.