See the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Free at America’s River Festival

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We are proud to be a title sponsor of this year’s America’s River Festival, sponsoring ThaAmerica's River Festivalnk You Thursday — a FREE night of admission for all! See Brandon Lay and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band for free on Thursday, June 8 in the Port of Dubuque!

The doors open at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 8. Brandon Lay will perform 7-8 p.m., followed by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 8:30-10 p.m.

Lay, a Tennessee native, has toured with country acts like Old Dominion, Eli Young Band,Brandon-Lay Brantley Gilbert, Jake Owen, and more. He wrote “Home Game” for Cole Swindell, and was awarded the Harold Adamson Lyric Award from the ASCAP Foundation Awards. His songs include: “All That Love,” “Never Look Back Town,” and  “Need Me to Be.”

The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, made of Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, Bob Carpenter,  and John McEuen, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The band has many multi-platinum and gold records, as well has top ten hits like “Fishin’ In The Dark,” “Mr. Bojangles,” and more. They have multiple Grammy, IBMA, and CMA Awards and nominations.

Other performers during America’s River Festival weekend include Old Dominion, Styx, Zero 2 Sixty, Tucker Beathard, William Michael Morgan, Little River Band, and The Guess Who.

For a schedule, tickets, and more information, visit:

Julien Dubuque International Film Festival Offers Film, Music, and Entertainment

Julien Film Car Sticker 2017

It’s almost here! Each day of the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival offers a variety of film, music, and entertainment.

The sixth annual festival, set for April 20-23 in downtown Dubuque, will show films from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily (with a few other screenings slated until 10 p.m.), and feature nightly events.

“We have a variety of offerings this year so that people of all ages and interests can find something to do,” said Susan Gorrell, executive director of the festival. “The events, plus the filmmakers here from all over the world, make this a unique event you don’t want to miss.”

Thursday, April 20cc_logowordmark_stacked

All films and events on Thursday, April 20 are free, sponsored by Runde Auto Group. Later that day, the Opening Night Event, “Celebrate Canada,” will feature a showing of “The Land of Rock and Gold” in partnership with the Canadian Consulate.

The film starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Five Flags Theater and doors open at 6:30 p.m. An after party, featuring the Ohio-based band The Lovebenders, will start at 9:30 p.m. at the Riverboat Lounge at Hotel Julien. The event is free.

Friday, April 21

the lodgetThe Silent Film Showcase, an annual staple at the Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 21 at Five Flags Theater. It will feature Alfred Hitchcock’s 1927 film “The Lodger” with live music accompaniment.

“Our Silent Film Showcase is always a popular event,” Gorrell said. “It is such a neat way to feature great music and film together.”

The 1-hour, 8-min long film follows a landlady who suspects her new lodger is the madman killing women in London. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25.

Following the Silent Film Showcase is a Drunk on Disney after party. The event, set for 9:30 p.m. to midnight at the Blue Moon Room in the Holiday Inn, will feature Dana Snyder, Adult Swim voiceover actor, and Guy Hutchinson, actor, broadcaster, and owner of a wide variety of Disney archives.

The event will feature a Disney costume contest, a celebrity match game, and a Disney signature cocktail. Admission is $15 (or $10 with a Silent Film ticket).

Saturday, April 22

The festival’s biggest night, Awards Night, will see more than $60,000 in cash and prizes
handed to winners in six categories. The event will be at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, at Five Flags Theater. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Awards Night is hosted by Snyder and Hutchinson and will feature musical performances by Ceili Rain, The Lovebenders, and The Ruby Blonde Band. Tickets are $25, which includes the after party, which immediately follows the awards show in the arena.

Sunday, April 23

mean merle and the pigeon of frizzante parkDon’t leave the little ones at home on Sunday, April 23. The JDIFF Kids Event is from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, April 23 at Five Flags Center. There will be music from the Dubuque Fiddlers from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. From 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., there will be a reading with Hutchinson, author of “Mean Merle and the Pigeon of Frizzante Park” and “Sesame Place,” along with Snyder, who will use his character voices to bring the book to life. A book signing and animated children’s films will follow the reading.

The film festival will come to a close from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 23 with the Closing Ceremonies at the Novelty Iron Works Event Center, 333 E. 10th St.  The Audience Choice Award will be announced at this free event.

Tickets and a continuously updated schedule of events are available at

Maggie Grace, Dana Snyder Among Special Guests of Julien Dubuque International Film Festival


This is the third installment of a weekly #FilmFestivalFriday series focusing on the sixth annual Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, which is April 20-23 in downtown Dubuque. Runde Auto Group is proud to be the driving force behind JDIFF… from the start! 

The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival will welcome filmmakers and special guests from all over the world. Here are some of this year’s notable guests:

maggie grace

Maggie Grace

Maggie Grace (Taken, Lost, Twilight: Breaking Dawn 1 & 2) will attend her screening of the nominated film “The Scent of Rain and Lightning.” She will be accompanied by director Blake Robbins (The Office, Oz, The Sublime and Beautiful).

The 1-hour, 40-min mystery drama tells the story of a young woman who learns her parents’ killer has been released from prison. She is forced to revisit old wounds and discovers the destructive power of hate and the true cost of family secrets.

The film is based on the novel of the same name by Nancy Pickard. It will screen at noon on Sunday, April 23, at Five Flags Theater, 405 Main St.

Brian Studler (writer, The Blacklist, TripTank), and Zak Knutson (director, Milius, Marvel 75 Years) will attend the festival for a Coffee Talk at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, at Five Flags Promenade, 405 Main St. They will discuss their experiences in the film industry.

dana snyder

Dana Snyder

Dana Snyder (Aqua Teen Hunger Force, The Thundermans, Squidbillies, Drunk on Disney podcast) and Guy Hutchinson (Drunk on Disney podcast, The Adventure Club podcast, author of Sesame Place) will be on hand for both the Drunk on Disney event (9:30 p.m. to midnight at the Blue Moon Room in the Holiday Inn, 450 Main St.) and to host Awards Night (8 p.m. Saturday, April 22, at Five Flags Theater).

Guy Hutchinson

Guy Hutchinson

The festival will provide plenty of opportunities for attendees to meet industry professionals and for filmmakers to network with their peers.

New this year are informal Coffee Talks, which provide a more intimate environment for discussion than a standard panel. This year’s scheduled Coffee Talks include:

  • Shanda Munson

    Shanda Lee Munson

    “Meet Shanda” A conversation with local filmmaker, Shanda Lee Munson, who has produced and acted in films, including “Remember the Titans.” 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 21, Java Joe’s, 342 Main St.

  • “Finding the Balance”: A discussion about finding the delicate balance when creating a film about a sensitive and important topic. Featuring filmmakers of “Far From the Tree,” director Dave Thomas and producer Carina Rush. 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, Java Joe’s, 342 Main St.
  • “Les is More: A celebration of documentary filmmaker Les Blank”: A discussion about the legacy of Les Blank featuring his son, filmmaker Harrod Blank and film curator Greg Hamilton. 9:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22 at Five Flags Promenade.
  • “Meet Brian and Zak”: A film industry discussion with Brian Studler, writer for
    Zak Knutson

    Zak Knutson

    NBC’s “The Blacklist” and “TripTank,” and Zak Knutson, director of “Milius,” “Marvel 75 Years,” and more. 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 22, Five Flags Promenade.

  •  “Meet the JDIFF Jurors”: Featuring the 2017 Jury, including Randy Tat, Greg Hamilton, Maria Collis, and Ron Saks. 9:30 a.m. Sunday, April 23 at Java Joe’s.

This year’s panels include:

  • “Making, Distributing, Marketing, and Watching: What’s the Impact of Digital?”5:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, April 21, at Five Flags Bijou Room. The moderator will be Eric B. Stein, founder of Impact Global Media. Panelists
    Eric B Stein

    Eric B. Stein

    include: Dion Eusepi, associate director of Cloud Foundry Services and Digital Engagement Practice at Cognizant; Matthew Stibbe, eCommerce/Digital & Growth Marketing Professional at the University of Cincinnati; and Michael Dunaway, Editor of Paste Magazine.

The Julien Dubuque International Film Festival, set for April 20-23 in downtown Dubuque, will feature more than 100 documentaries, features, and shorts. They were selected out of more than 685 submissions from over 40 countries.

For more information, visit