Saturday’s Twin Festivals — Hot during daytime hours, rockin’ at night
By LENNY C. LEPOLA
News Assistant Managing Editor
Saturday’s twin festivals, Sunbury Sizzle & Sounds and Galena Summerfest, both had excellent attendance according to each event’s organizers. A little hot in the afternoon, said Summerfest’s organizer Jane White, but attendance picked up as the temperature cooled down and headline bands took to the stage.
Sizzle & Sounds organizer Theresa Dronsfield agreed with White that daytime heat kept the attendance lighter during the afternoon hours, but said the evening crowd exceeded her expectations.
“We welcomed back many of our favorites this year and the crowd really got involved,” Dronsfield said. “The 1000 Julys, a last-minute band added to the schedule, really bridged the generation gap and brought everyone to their feet; and with so many more food vendor choices this year, the lines moved fast and there was something for everyone.”
Dronsfield said the location move and expansion of the Sizzle & Sounds’ Kids Zone benefited from the early day shade for parents to relax in while children enjoyed the youth-oriented festivities; and the new layout of the square and placement of the main stage allowed patrons in the beer garden as well as other family and friends a better view of the stage.
“Transportation, once again, was shared between the two festivals, but even with the addition of two passenger vans, the trolley maintained its popularity,” Dronsfield said. “We thank the Village of Sunbury for rallying behind the committee to make the 2012 Sunbury Sizzle & Sounds Festival a success. Planning for the 2013 festival will begin over the next few weeks.”
White said Galena Summerfest attendance the same as 2011 – about 8,000; and that one of the highlights of 2012 Summerfest was the expanded Kids Zone.
“PePe, the Kroger mascot, was able to make a few appearances to hug, high five and mingle with children of all ages, even though penguins don’t like that kind of heat,” White said. “On the main stage on Village Square we had an outstanding band lineup. Ray Fuller and the Bluesrockers kicked off our entertainment with amazing guitar work by Ray, stirring and raucous keyboards by Keith Blair, and a terrific drum solo by Mark Ward.”
White said Fuller was followed by Miss Lissa & Company, featuring Lissa’s throaty, bluesy voice
“As the evening started to cool off, the very hot Hurricane Jerry & Stormfront took the stage with the legendary Gene ‘Saxman’ Walker’,” White said. “Everyone was treated to an amazing stage show, and Sean Carney even joined Jerry, Gene and the band for a few songs.
“The Sean Carney Band headlined the evening and Gene Walker hung around to share his talents through the night,” White continued. “Sean and the band were ready to leave the stage but the crowd was chanting for more, so we were treated to on encore on the square.”
White said when the Sean Carney Band finished playing on the outdoor main stage the band went inside Mudflats Bar & Grill for an evening finale.
“Both festivals had a great day featuring many great vendors and thousands of participants,” White said. “We give a very heartfelt thanks to all of our volunteers and our two communities for their support.”