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Waterfest returns in Oshkosh on a stormy night

Updated: Jun. 17, 2021 at 9:44 PM CDT
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - Thursday marked the return of Waterfest in Oshkosh, but everyone going also had an eye on the sky, hoping the threat of severe weather would not force the cancellation of the concert.

For those who came to the Leach Amphitheater, there was a sense of excitement to hear live music once again on the shore of the Fox River.

“I’m excited. I love Hairball. I’m really excited, as it’s an extra bonus being a teacher, because it’s teacher appreciation night, so why not come out and enjoy the rain,” said Scotti Thurwatcher of Oshkosh.

The concert is the first for Waterfest since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it’s great. I miss going to the concerts the last year, socializing with people, listening to great music, so I love having it back,” said Heather Ceran-Tryva.

Kerry Pomplun added, “I live only a couple of blocks away, so it’s awesome to be able to hear the noise again and be able to just walk down and enjoy the weather and hear all of the music, got to love it.”

Waterfest typically draws a crowd between 3,000 and 5,000 people, but organizers tell me they prepared for a bigger audience, knowing how well other events have done in the past few weeks offering live music.

“We had a lot of advance tickets, so our advance ticket sales for this event has been the highest we ever had for a first-time event or opening event, and it looks good all summer. So it’s good for the community and good for everybody,” said John Casper of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce.

When it did rain, sometimes hard, those who came were ready to wait it out, or potentially ask for help, in a quest to stay dry.

Pomplun said, “Like Steve Beylon, please, make it go away for a while, hahaha.”

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