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Jul 20, 2022 (0)
The O'Neill Summerfest Celebration and Big Ian Munsick concert came into jeopardy on Saturday afternoon when mother nature tried to spoil the event with a sudden downpour of 2 inches of rain and 50-mile-an-hour winds.
The storm caused problems at the concert site, which was being set up at the time.
The stage company, which handles the stage, lights, video and audio equipment, was in the process of getting the equipment ready for the concert when the storm blew in the rain sideways on their tents and soaked their equipment, making them non-operational for the upcoming show.
Ian Munsick's bus had mechanical trouble near Pilger, but the Rainforth family rounded up help and got the band's equipment trailer to O'Neill.
Members of the Chamber Entertainment Committee made plans to find new equipment. Kelly Kerkman, Joel and Brandon Pruden came through for the dance with the necessary sound equipment to get the concert back on track.
Roger Miller with O'Neill Electric got the power back online and Bryan Hoefer and Pat Cole provided the flatbeds for the stage.
The community made a great save coming together and saving the concert which took a whole year of planning.
"It was a close call on what we would do about the concert, but the community came together and made it happen. We were lucky and despite the weather the rodeo attendance did better on Saturday. The dance saw 3,500 people check into the dance," said O'Neill Chamber of Commerce Director Lauri Havranek.
Besides the damage at the concert site, Fremont Street flooded the Ford Manor site between Third and Fourth Streets. The railroad crossing suffered damage when the water flooded the tracks at the crossing and shorted out the crossing, causing the crossing arms to come down. The railroad was notified and the crossing was fixed that day while traffic on Hwy. 281 was diverted.
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