July 12--CLINTON -- Country music fans packed the parking lot of the Wild Rose Casino and Resort on Friday as they welcomed music superstars Sara Evans and Lonestar.
As the Wild Rose Casino kicked off the first-ever Rosefest, a two-day outdoor music concert, their efforts were rewarded as hundreds of people flooded the venue enthusiastic for the performances.
The Lonestar and Sara Evans fan base split pretty evenly throughout the crowd that attended Friday's concert, but they all agreed on one thing -- that having a chance to see award-winning musical acts right here in Clinton was something very special.
"It's pretty cool to have this here," Dixon, Illinois resident Mike Conley said. "It's a big impact in this area and really fantastic that the casino is doing this. We need more concerts around here."
That sentiment was shared among many of the fans on Friday, who expressed their gratitude to the casino for sponsoring such a unique event.
Mindy Burggraaf, a Fulton, Illinois resident who was enjoying a girls night out with her sister Tracy VanKampen, said when she found out about the event she couldn't believe that musical acts as well known as Sara Evans and Lonestar would be right across the river.
"My sister gets emails from the casino about events they're having and I was really surprised to hear about this one," Burggraaf said. "It's super fun that they're putting this on and I love that it's outside."
VanKampen added that Riverside Casino and Golf Resort in Riverside hosts outdoor concerts all summer long and that she was happy to see the Wild Rose Casino beginning that trend as well.
Though it's unclear at this point if the Wild Rose Casino will make Rosefest an annual tradition, a quick glimpse of Friday's event confirmed that the community and those who traveled to see the show were on board to support it.
But that was only the beginning. Rosefest continues today with 1980s rockstar Eddie Money and country music legends The Oak Ridge Boys, who Camanche resident and Texas native Jon Heil said he is eager to see.
"I lived in Texas for a long time and country music is -- well, you just can't miss it," Heil said. "I found out about the concert months ago and when I got here I was shocked to see that stage. This is a big deal; it's a big deal for Clinton."
Tickets to see Eddie Money and The Oak Ridge Boys are still available and can be purchased at the gate with a Wild Rose Casino players card. Gates open at 7 p.m. with showtime to follow at 8 p.m.
(c)2014 the Clinton Herald (Clinton, Iowa)
Visit the Clinton Herald (Clinton, Iowa) at clintonherald.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services