Big­ger tents come in handy at fes­ti­val

Post-Tribune - - Local - BY MICHELLE L. QUINN Post-Tri­bune cor­re­spon­dent

GRIF­FITH — At this point, Grif­fith’s an­nual La­bor Day fes­ti­val could be re­named “Rock ’n’ Rain Fest,” and it would be just as ap­pro­pri­ate.

For­tu­nately for the crowded fes­ti­val, a new con­fig­u­ra­tion saved visi­tors from the storms that raced through the area early Satur­day even­ing. That con­fig­u­ra­tion came as a sec­ond stage in the beer tent.

“We put the sec­ond stage in for two rea­sons: One, so peo­ple could have mu­sic in­side the beer tent between the main acts, and two, if the rains got to be too bad, the main acts can play un­der it if need be,” Town Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Rick Ryfa said. “We watched the storm as it came through out of nowhere.”

But thanks to big­ger tents, no one got drenched — an­other les­son Rock ’n’ Rail Fest or­ga­niz­ers have learned. Nei­ther were fes­ti­val­go­ers on top of each other try­ing to en­joy them­selves.

And en­joy­ing them­selves they had, Ryfa said. Fri­day night, Ron­nie G and his band rocked the house, fol­lowed by the trippy stylings of Mr Fun­ny­man and its hour­long Pink Floyd trib­ute. Satur­day even­ing saw some coun­try and San­tana trib­ute mu­sic, but Sun­day would be the day for big-band afi­ciona­dos.

“(Si­na­tra trib­ute singer) Jim Bu­landa is go­ing to per­form with the Calumet Ridge En­sem­ble, a 17-piece band,” Ryfa said. “It’s go­ing to be fan­tas­tic.”

Jim Qunell, of Mun­ster, agreed. He, wife Dana, and friends Bobby and Re­nee Hill rode their bikes from Mun­ster to at­tend.

“Bobby’s an old friend, so we came out here to en­joy and sup­port the Grif­fith peo­ple,” Qunell said. “It’s been great.”

Rock ’n’ Rail Fest re­opens at noon Sun­day and runs un­til mid­night.


As the storm passed, visi­tors to Grif­fith’s an­nual Rock ’n’ Rails street fes­ti­val came back out from un­der the tents.

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