News Column

These are such good times

July 20, 2014

By William L. Spence, Lewiston Tribune, Idaho

July 20--Temperatures stayed well short of the century mark, but Rockin' on the River was all about beatin' the heat on a sunny Saturday afternoon in Clarkston.

The line at the beer concession was consistently busy through the first two hours of the annual music event, with sometimes two or three dozen people waiting for service.

"We've already sold two rolls of tickets," said marketing co-director Kristi Neal shortly before 6 p.m. "We sell five tickets for $20. That's the best deal, and that's what most people seem to be buying."

Rockin' on the River has been bringing live music performances to the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley for 13 years. About 2,000 people attended last year's event, and a similar number appeared to be at Gateway Golf Center this year.

All proceeds benefit local community organizations. This year's beneficiaries include the Gina Quesenberry Foundation, Willow Center for Grieving Children and Jackson'sPay It Forward Foundation.

Volunteers from all three organizations were on hand at the beer concession, keeping three steel tanks full of ice and beer and quickly passing cans to thirsty patrons.

Business was steady at the food concessions as well.

"A crowd like this will go through 400 pounds of meat," said Mike Busch, the proprietor of Rosie's Ribs mobile barbecue.

Most of that came from one 300-pound hog he smoked for 18 hours.

"The oven temperature is 250 degrees. You cook it until the internal temperature is 190, then the oven shuts down," Busch said.

The air temperature down by the river was about half that Saturday. The National Weather Service said temperatures in the valley peaked at 95 degrees just before 5 p.m.

"Are you feeling it?" yelled the lead singer for the band Tantric, speaking as much about the music as the heat.

The mosh pit in front of the stage was a popular spot, but so were the open-sided tents, sun umbrellas and a handful of shady spots on the grassy slopes. And for those who needed even more help beating the heat, volunteers with the Clarkston Fire Department were happy to spray them down with hoses.

"It seems like the more people drink, the more they come to visit us," said firefighter Toby Hearsey, who's manned the hoses at Rockin' on the River the past three years.

"I'm not really into the bands," Hearsey said. Bringing out the water hoses "is something nice for the kids, so they don't have to sit with their parents. They can go look for golf balls, then come over here."

Volunteers continued to spray down the kids and adults as the sun dipped towards the horizon. The bands Filter and Fuel were up next. As temperatures began to drop, the music just got louder.

Spence may be contacted at or (208) 791-9168.


(c)2014 the Lewiston Tribune (Lewiston, Idaho)

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Source: Lewiston Morning Tribune (ID)

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