Marion hosts the inaugural Sultana Heritage Festival on April 30 – May 1


On the early morning of April 27, 1865, the Sultana exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis. It became America’s greatest maritime disaster, killing nearly 1,800 of the almost 2,400 passengers on-board. Many of those were former Union soldiers, on their way home following the end of the Civil War. The boat sank near Marion.


The town of Marion hosts the inaugural Sultana Heritage Festival on April 30-May 1 in the historic courthouse square.

Visitors can stop by the temporary Sultana Disaster Museum, which will be set up at 104 Washington St. from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on April 30 and from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on May 1. The unveiling of the plans for the permanent Sultana Disaster Museum will be displayed during the festival.

sultana monument close

There will also be a preview showing of “Remember the Sultana” on Saturday, April 30, at 6 p.m. at the Marion Performing Arts Center.

The event will also feature music by the 52nd Regimental String Band, the Morley Magic show, living history exhibitors, wagon rides on the Marion Walking Trail, and Civil War musket demonstrations. In addition, lectures will be presented throughout the event by Frank Barton, Judge John Fogleman, Jimmy Ogle, Jan Thomas, Michael Lejman, and Jerry Potter.

sultana monument

To learn more, visit or phone 870-739-6041.