Country Stampede Fun without the Music!

Mother Nature provided the sound effects and light show for opening night of Country Stampede

The wrinkle came around 5pm. The 94.5 Country Karaoke Contest was wrapping up, when Keith Montgomery came onstage and announced a severe thunderstorm warning had been issued. We can't tell you what to do, he told the crowd, but it might be wise to seek shelter while the judges went into a trailer to pick their winner. Eyes went to the sky - dark clouds hovered. The night's opening act, Kellie Pickler, went into a tent for a meet and greet with fans. By 6pm, lightning was flashing over Tuttle Creek Lake, and the decision was made to delay Kellie until 8:30pm, with .38 Special and Charlie Daniels to follow. When our live newscasts finished at 6:30pm, we scrambled to clean up our cables and electronic equipment before the rain hit. At 7pm, Raubin Pierce from WIBW Radio was kind enough to give me a ride on a golf cart to where my vehicle was parked. Just in time - a few minutes later, the rain started. By the time I turned onto I-70, the skies opened up. It was like someone was throwing buckets of water onto the road! I and other drivers slowed our speed and muddled through. I made it back to the station to learn Country Stampede organizers made the call to cancel the main acts when the storm just wasn't letting up. It's an interesting discussion - how hard a call is that to make when you know those performers will be gone? They have schedules to keep, so they can't just stick around until the next day and perform then. I posed the question to our live chatters during Thursday's 13 News at 10 - they all seemed to agree safety came first. Somehow, I don't think many of the festival-goers minded. Those I spoke with told me Country Stampede was about the friends and relaxing - with a little music thrown in, too! Here's hoping the sun shines to match their sunny attitudes the rest of the weekend!


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