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For more than 60 years, the Vicksburg Rotary Club’s primary fundraiser has been the Showboat. It started as a Minstrel Show with the cast members pulled primarily from the club roster. Soon, recruits started

coming from the greater Vicksburg community, to make it a huge event featuring the best soloists in

town and a male chorus that was highly trained, singing four-part harmony.

The script was written by volunteers who liked to tell jokes to each other and if they got a laugh, the

joke was in. Today, the script has a theme and the songs and jokes are selected to fit that theme

(however loosely).


Practice begins the first Sunday in January with the actual show slated for the last weekend in February every year. It is an all-volunteer production, staffed by the Club members and raising some $15,000 a

year that is poured back into the community in the form of scholarships, projects and grants.

A Showboat program is published containing advertising, pictures of the performers, the music director,

show director and the many others who contribute behind the scenes to make it all happen.


This year marks the 63rd time that the Vicksburg Rotary Showboat will set sail.  This year’s show is tilted “The Great Campaign”. Director Ken Franklin provides the following synopsis:

Rotary International headquarters has informed the Rotary Ann that they must begin electing their Captain! What will happen when the current skipper faces off against the boiler mechanic and two other surprise candidates? How will they campaign to convince everyone that they are best suited to lead the crew? What about the media frenzy? What dark skeletons are hiding in the candidates’ closets? Will there be uproarious comedy and amazing 4-part harmony? We can answer that last question: ABSOLUTELY! Bring your friends this February and cast your vote for your favorite boat – the Vicksburg Rotary Showboat!

The Fun is Waiting…Don’t Miss the Boat.



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