News Column

Sound idea: Music festival retooled into a fundraiser for museum

July 4, 2014

By Joe Hadsall, The Joplin Globe, Mo.

July 04--PITTSBURG, Kan. -- If it means more money can be raised, Ryan O'Toole is OK with backing off the 'Merica theme of the Weir 'Merica festival.

"Last year, the fun part of the theme was a white trash celebration," O'Toole said. "We were celebrating Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas and dressing up with cutoffs and ironic T-shirts."

The same theme still applies, but this year's Weir 'Merica has a fundraising purpose: Presented by KSEK-FM (U-Rock 99.1), proceeds will benefit the Crawford County Historical Museum.

The event is a music festival featuring a variety of musical acts, from country to rock, from original songs to '90s cover songs. Food vendors and camping are also available.

O'Toole put together a similar event last year at his home near Weir.

"It was a two-day event, and we had a good turnout with no problems," O'Toole said. "It was a hit. People have been asking me about another one all this last year."

He said he didn't have any immediate plans to host another event.

But when he heard that the museum was looking for help, he saw an opportunity to hold the festival in an easier area.

The museum is a worthy cause as well, he said.

"I enjoy history, and I've been in and out of that museum," O'Toole said. "It's a little organization that doesn't get too much help from government funding, and I'd hate to see it die or go to waste."

The museum is home to some unique historical items, including an antique aerial fire truck, replicas of mining camps, a large steam shovel used in the Weir-Pittsburg coal field and a two-headed calf.

The site also houses a one-room schoolhouse and the H.R. Brown general store.

Proceeds will help the museum's daily expenses.

O'Toole hopes to draw a crowd of about 200 and raise about $500 for the museum.

The lineup for this year's festival includes several local favorites, including:

--Bill and Monica's Excellent Adventure, a '90s cover band.


--Sextonic Plates, of which O'Toole is a member. The band recently performed at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas.

--For the Wolf, a band based out of Tulsa.

--Fred vs. Red.

--Super Rats.

--The Bends.

--Conway Jackson.

--The Shane Moses Band.

--Wayward Bettys.


--Gypsy Tears.

--Steve Sand.


Want to go?

Weir Merica will be held from 1 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Crawford County Historical Museum, located at 651 U.S. Highway 69 in Pittsburg.

Admission is by donation, with a suggested donation of $5. Proceeds will benefit the museum. The event is presented by KSEK-FM.

Details: 620-232-9912.


(c)2014 The Joplin Globe (Joplin, Mo.)

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Source: Joplin Globe (MO)

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