Water, water everywhere

Okoboji Blue Water Festival in Arnolds Park Aug. 10

The Iowa Great Lakes has many wonderful attractions, but everyone will admit, it’s the waters of the lakes themselves that are the biggest draw.

And preserving those waters is what the Okoboji Blue Water Festival is all about. The festival will host their fourth annual event on Saturday, Aug. 10, at Arnolds Park Amusement Park.

“We are truly excited about the fourth annual Okoboji Blue Water Festival. Through the generous donations of so many businesses and individuals, everything that takes place is totally free,” said Greg Drees, the event’s founder and coordinator. “What a wonderful statement about the commitment of these sponsors working to protect and enhance the water quality of our lakes, rivers and wetlands.”

Things will kick off bright and early on Saturday when local artists will transform the sidewalks near the event into water-themed murals.

From 10 a.m.-3 p.m. there will be kids activities as well as almost 40 vendors on site who are all clean water organizations and businesses.

They will be there “to share the thoughts and ideas about ways we can implement clean water practices. Special kids and family activities will include science projects, T-shirt painting, watershed education and other interactive projects,” according to Drees.

There will be a fishing seminar with Dan Spengler. The keynote speaker, Alexandra Cousteau, will take the stage at 3 p.m.

She is a globally known water quality advocate and the granddaughter of the famous oceanographer Jacques Cousteau.

“Cousteau is an award-winning filmmaker, National Geographic Explorer and global water advocate who continues the work of her renowned grandfather Jacques-Yves Cousteau and her father Philippe Cousteau Sr. by helping people throughout the world explore and value their everyday connections with our water planet,” according to a news release.

The event will close out with three back-to-back musical performances.

First up is The Firm then there will be Dave Mason at 7:30 p.m. Then at 9 p.m. Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers will take the stage.