By Melody Vallieu
FORT LORAMIE — Country Concert 2017 came to an end Saturday on a sunnier note.
After Thursday’s and Friday’s soggy weather, Saturday saw near perfect temperatures and sunny skies to draw the three-day event to a close.
Saturday’s line-up included performances by Chris Lane, Dan & Shay, Montgomery Gentry, Brett Eldredge and closed with a rowdy crowd to the country croonings of Florida Georgia Line.
Greg and Marie Shull of Antwerp, Ohio, have come to Country Concert several times in the past — but the all-star line-up brought them back this year, Marie Shull said.
“It was the artists this year that brought us here. Man, what performers they brought in,” said Shull, who said the Charlie Daniels Band, Blake Shelton, the Oak Ridge Boys, Cam and Florida Georgia Line are among her favorites. “Charlie Daniels is 81 years old and still kicking butt on stage.”
Greg Shull said Blake Shelton was hands down his top performer.
“It was good to see Blake out and performing, not on my TV screen on ‘The Voice,’” Greg Shull said. “And, we’ve had a blast. The people around us have been cool.”
Tessa Yoho of Paulding brought her daughter, Kayln Cox, 14, for the second year. Yoho said they both love country music.
“The concert is something we can experience together,” Yoho said.
Both are fans of Florida Georgia Line, who took the stage for the last performance of the weekend and got fans fired up with their dance party music.
“Florida Georgia Line was exceptional,” Cox said. “They were even better than I had hoped.”
Troy resident Derrick Spitler, who camped throughout the weekend, said the music was so good, Friday’s storms that left the grounds muddy to traverse weren’t much of a factor for him.
“The shows are a good time, even with the inclement weather. Everyone is here to have a good time, so it doesn’t put a damper on anyone’s mood,” Spitler said. “I was here to see Covington native Clark Manson once again, Montgomery Gentry and Blake Shelton.”
This year was Spitler’s first time at the annual concert.
“This is my first experience here,” he said. “The best experience is meeting up with a lot of people that I know and enjoying the overall Country Concert experience.”
Concert-goers were on their best behavior, Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart said.
Lenhart said they staffed 158 eight-hour shifts throughout the concert weekend with the help of staff from Auglaize and Logan county law enforcement, as well as Key II, a private security company.
On Friday night, Lenhart said there were five arrests, including several disorderly conducts, trespassing and a malicious destruction, when someone damaged their neighbor’s camper. Lenhart said there were only a handful of underage drinking tickets handed out as well.
There was an accident at the intersection of state Route 66 and Cardo Road on Friday night, where two cars collided. Lenhart said one occupant was trapped in the vehicle and had to be extracted before being taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Another person in the accident was ejected from the vehicle, but refused medical treatment, he said. Neither were under the influence of alcohol, Lenhart said.
“It was the perfect storm for us,” he said. “The deputies, EMS and tow trucks were right here to help them and get it cleaned up right before the concert let out.”
Lenhart said Country Concert owners dropped gravel throughout the grounds to prepare for the concert, and again on Saturday, and by noon they were in better shape for attendees.
“I think that had a lot to do with how people behaved,” he said.
There were a total of 18 EMS runs on Friday and 11 by Saturday evening, Lenhart said, with no significant medical issues to report.
Lenhart said safety for everyone during the annual weekend is of top priority for him and his staff.
“We’ve really tried hard to get people to have designated drivers or stay over,” Lenhart said. “I think we are accomplishing that. We want people to have fun, drink responsibly and just have a designated driver, that’s all we ask.”
For more information about the 2018 event, visit countryconcert.com in the coming months.