City of Dubuque News Releases

CityChannel Dubuque to Air ‘River Boats, River Voices’ on Christmas Day

Craig Nowack
Cable TV Coordinator
563-589-4181 (office)
563-599-2839 (cell)

Dec. 20, 2017 -- For Immediate Release

DUBUQUE, Iowa – On Christmas Day, CityChannel Dubuque will premiere two programs that highlight Dubuque’s relationship with the Mississippi River and the commercial river boats which have played a significant role in the city’s history.

“River Boats, River Voices, Vol. 1” airs Christmas Day at 4 p.m. (repeats New Year’s Eve at 8 p.m.) and “River Boats, River Voices, Vol. 2” airs Christmas Day at 8 p.m. (repeats New Year’s Day at 9 a.m.).

Both programs feature video of the commercial excursion boats, towboats, tugs, and barges that have plied the Mississippi River in the tri-state area since the City of Dubuque Cable TV Division acquired its first high-definition (HD) camera in 2008.  Accompanying this video are the voices of 11 tri-state area residents who have worked on or around these boats, talking about life on the Mississippi and the work they do.

Voices include several towboat captains (active and retired), the owner of a business that delivers groceries and other supplies to passing towboats, a deckhand, an Army Corps of Engineers lockmaster, the captain/owner of an excursion boat, the captain/owner of a lock assist service boat, a retired marine service company fleet manager, the captain of the Cassville, Wis., car ferry, and a Dubuque native who worked 13 summers aboard the Delta Queen steamboat.

Other “voices” include the boats themselves in the form of whistles, bells, and steam calliopes.  The programs also include some marine radio communications between the boats and lock personnel, assist tugs, and the railroad bridge tender.  

“These programs are like a river voyage with new discoveries around each bend,” said Craig Nowack, City of Dubuque Cable TV Coordinator.  “They take us into a world that most Dubuque residents recognize by sight but otherwise might not be that familiar with.”

In addition to airing on CityChannel Dubuque (cable channel 8 or digital 117.2), these programs will stream live and be archived on the City’s website at

The City also originates a second government access channel on cable channel 80 or digital 117.3.  This channel presents City information and downtown weather data around the clock with audio from the NOAA weather radio station serving Dubuque.

For more information on City programming, call 563-589-4181 or visit

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