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Cairo is located in southern Illinois in Alexander County (of which it is the county seat) south of Mt. Vernon between Mound City and the confluence of the Mississippi River and the Ohio River. An obviously strategic vantage point led to the construction of Fort Defiance on the peninsula. General U.S. Grant made his early Civil War headquarters here.

The city is the southern most in Illinois and is part of the "Little Egypt" area. The area came to be called this from being able to provide northern and central Illinois farmers enough grain to survive the harsh winter of 1830-31. The farmers were said to be, just as Jacob's sons in the Bible, "going down to Egypt to obtain some grain".

Area recreation includes family outings to St. Mary's Park.

The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 4,217, a decrease of 629 since 1990.

History Fort Defiance | Riverlore |
Public Libraries Cairo Public Library | St. Mary's Park |

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12/09 Coming to The area
Historic Newburgh Wine, Art and Jazz Festival Newburgh IN May17-18 There will be non stop jazz, wonderful wines, great food, and the opportunity to browse and purchase local art. All of this overlooking the beautiful Ohio River at the Old Lock & Dam Park.
Lower Town Arts and Music Festival Paducah KY May17-19 The Lower Town Arts and Music Festival in Paducah, Kentucky is THE regional Festival for Western Kentucky and the surrounding area. The Festival's mission is to celebrate the cultural richness of this part of the country.
Handy Blues and Barbecue Festival Henderson KY June12-15 The W.C. Handy Blues and Barbecue Festival has become one of the largest free music festivals in the nation, drawing attendants from just about every state and many countries. The festival is a celebration of the life and legacy of Henderson resident and 'Father of the Blues', William Christopher Handy.
Bluegrass in the Park Music and Folklife Festival Henderson KY August8-10 Invite all your friends and family. There will be something for everyone.
Gathering of the Juggalos Cave-In-Rock IL August7-11 The Gathering of the Juggalos is unlike anything you have ever experienced before. It is not simply a show, a concert, a music festival, or anything of that nature. It is an EXPERIENCE. The Gathering of the Juggalos features the entire roster of Psychopathic Records plus over one hundred bands and rappers performing on multiple stages throughout the entire event.
Hot August Blues Festival Hardin KY August23-24 Like we always say, if you've never been you don't know what you're missing. It's not about the music; it's not about the's all about having a good time!! Everything else is just a bonus! Bring your coolers (no glass bottles please), lawn chairs, sunscreen and ponchos, cause the festival is held rain or shine!