Thousands Pack Park for Annual Show

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Tradition lives on in the metro. Thousands packed Memorial Park Friday night for the annual Bank of the West Celebrates America concert and fireworks show – a high energy, music-filled, fire-in-the-sky good time to light the fuse of summer.

A night of rock and roll got a break from the recent thunder and rain in the metro.

Fans began filtering into the park early, staking claims to soggy turf, but the rain clouds took a break for a night full of music.

From the front row to the back, the festive crowd got an earful from the line-up of Smash Mouth, Uncle Kracker, Blues Traveler, Sugar Ray and The Talbott Brothers.

When it comes to claiming turf, Jim and Kathy McKain are experts. They’ve been coming to these events for 24 years. The rule says just lay your blanket down - no size requirement.

Jim said, "A few years ago when they changed the policy that we couldn't stake out for such a big group we bought all the fabrics we could buy at about six fabric stores, and my wife sewed it all together and we've been on it ever since.”

Kathy said, “Jim went to the fabric store and he hates fabric stores."

Jim and Kathy were regulars before they were married. Now they have two daughters, ages 21 and 17, who have never missed the show.

The music is capped by a fireworks show.

This year 70,000 people came and last year’s celebration drew nearly 75,000 people.


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