RATT, Vixxen, Slaughter to take stage at Hannibal Riverfront Amphitheater Saturday

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RATT, Vixxen and Slaughter will take the stage Saturday at the Hannibal Riverfront Amphitheater. | Photo courtesy of Ashley Veach

HANNIBAL, Mo. — Rock artists will walk out onto the stage of the amphitheater on Saturday, Aug. 26. For one artist, it won’t be the first time.

The Hannibal Jaycees have partnered with Whiskey Bizz Productions, LLC, to host 80’s Rock on the River. Stephan Pearcy, the voice of RATT, will walk out under the amphitheater and rock Hannibal for a second time, 36 years after his first performance. The evening of music will begin at 5:30 p.m. Vixxen and Slaughter will take the stage as well.

RATT previously performed in Hannibal at the “old” Hannibal Riverfront Amphitheater on July 9, 1987, while on their “Dancing Undercover” tour. They shared the stage with Poison that night. Other big names that have graced the stage of the amphitheater include The Beach Boys, REO Speedwagon, Great White, Lita Ford, Cheap Trick and George Thorogood.

History of Tanyard Gardens

The Hannibal Jaycees began offering live music as part of National Tom Sawyer Days many years ago. It started with a simple set up of two barrels, a 2×4 for the bar and a couple kegs of beer while a local band played for the patrons. Year after year, the event had to be moved from one area of downtown to another to accommodate the growing event.

The Jaycees wanted to find a permanent home for Tanyard Gardens that would enable easier setup and a venue large enough to book national artists to play. It started with the building and the gravel lot. Then they added a pavilion to cover the temporary stage that needed to be set up and taken down each year. While that was a great improvement, it still wasn’t good enough.

When the opportunity came along to purchase the old amphitheater structure from the city, the Jaycees took advantage. Members disassembled the structure, had it restored and painted. They built a permanent concrete stage, erected the steel beams that are now blue and installed a new metal roof.  Once the stage was standing, the vision grew. More improvements were made, such as buying the overhead lights and pouring concrete for the expanding crowd.

Thanks to the hard work of many individuals, they created a permanent home for what we now know as Tanyard Gardens.

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