FORT LORAMIE — Sun, skin, smiles and music – Country Concert 2016 is in full swing.
Everywhere you look, people are friendly, jovial and festive. The atmosphere is like a large family reunion, with several concert-goers returning year after year.
Rick and Donna Trimbach have made it a “family thing” as their daughter, Danielle Shumaker, put it. The Trimbacks, from Springboro, have been coming for the last 22 years, bringing Shumaker when she was very little. Shumaker decided to continue the “Family Tradition” by bringing her 4-year-old (soon to be 5-year-old, this Thurday) daughter Olivia for the past three years.
“She loves it. Brantley Gilbert was great with the on-stage screens,” said Shumaker of her daughter’s favorite, so far.
Donna Trimbach said they brought Shumaker when she was only a couple of years old and was stage front curled up on a bench fast asleep during The Judds’ set back in the late ’80s.
The Simpson sisters, who are from Sidney, have been coming to the Hickory Hills for 20 years now and return year after year because “they always bring top-notch entertainers, as well as the up and coming artists,” said Lori Simpson.
The sisters’ favorite is Chris Janson, who had just come on stage.
“He is the bomb!” said Debbie Simpson.
“He is so humble. My 11-year-old twin girls got a selfie with him at his concert in Dayton. He is fantastic and supports the vets — and my Dad is a veteran,” said Lori Simpson of Janson.
From long-time attendees, to newbies at the Country Concert, the consensus of the over-all vibe is one of old and new friends (and family) helping each other.
“I can’t get over how accommodating everyone has been, from the staff to people in the crowd. Just random people offering beverages —regular and alcoholic beverages,” said first time attendee, Celeste Johnson, of Richmond, Indiana, who was with two of her girlfriends.
This is the third year Helena Fleenor has come to the Country Concert and she said she was very impressed with the “family-feel” around her.
“Not once have I questioned my safety here. The people are very kind,” Fleenor said.
Jessica Runnels is also a first time concert-goer, and agreed with her two friends about the friendly environment.
“I’m excited to see my ‘boyfriend’ Sam Hunt play later; him and Dierks Bentley,” said Runnels.
Blake Alexander, of Findlay, is attending for the second year in a row with two of his friends, and have been camping since Wednesday.
“People are really friendly. Everybody loves everybody,” said Alexander. “Dustin Lynch was amazing. Tonight is gonna be good with Sam Hunt and Dierks Bentley.”
While most concert-goers had fun, there was a report of an incident involving someone being cut with a machete Friday afternoon, however, no more details were available at press time. Fort Loramie Fire Department also responded to a dumpster fire inside the show area around 5:30 p.m.
Country Concert staff members described Thursday as relatively quiet and uneventful.
If you still want to go:
Today, July 9:
Noon: Brothers Osborne
2 p.m.: Cassadee Pope
4 p.m.: A Thousand Horses
6 p.m.: Kacey Musgraves
8 p.m.: Thomas Rhett
10 p.m.: Eric Church
11 a.m.: Pilgrim
1 and 3 p.m.: Haley Georgia
5 p.m.: The SteelDrivers
7 p.m.: Brothers Osbourne
9:15 p.m.: The SteelDrivers
To purchase tickets, or book camping, visit countryconcert.com, or call 937-295-3000.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.