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No such thing as rain check at Lakes Bluegrass Festival

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Mandolin player Doug Elrick, guitarist Steve Gilmore and bassist Kenny Pabst of High Plains Tradition proved the show must go on Saturday, Aug. 26, when bands at the Lakes Bluegrass Festival in Pine River took the show into a building at the fairgrounds during the rainy part of the day. Travis Grimler/Echo Journal 2 / 7
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The Kevin Prater Band was one band moved indoors during rain at the Lakes Bluegrass Festival.4 / 7
The Kody Norris Band was one of the bands lucky to hold their performance outdoors before a deluge of rain drove everyone indoors during the lakes Bluegrass Festival.5 / 7
Travis Grimler/Echo Journal Award-winning vocalist Jeanette Williams of the Jeanette Williams band made a return appearance to the Lakes Bluegrass Festival in Pine River, held Aug. 24-27.6 / 7
Travis Grimler/Echo Journal Johnny Williams of the Jeanette Williams band strums away Friday, Aug. 25, to a happy crowd at the Lakes Bluegrass Festival in Pine River.7 / 7

The 12th annual Lakes Bluegrass Festival faced clouds and rain during its four-day run Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 24-27, but neither stopped the music from playing to an appreciative crowd at the Cass County Fairgrounds in Pine River.

When the weather was dry, attendees occupied the usual field in front of the band shell. During rain, they relocated to a nearby green pole barn with elevated seating where the show did indeed go on.

"We are very blessed to have an indoor venue," said Tim Roggenkamp, entertainment director for the event. "We were hoping never to have to use it, but we were sure glad to have it. We were able to continue on with all of the band performances and the fans were able to stay warm and dry while enjoying the music. We do have tents for rain and sun protection in the outdoor concert area, but since the rain was going to last all day, we decided to move inside. This was our first washout in 12 years - we've had showers and a few storms in the past, but nothing like this that lasted for two days. The fans, the performers and the volunteers were all troopers and made the very best of the situation."

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KLICK! Photo Gallery - 2017 Lakes Bluegrass Festival - 223 photos

Klick here to view!

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Roggenkamp said in a news release that ticket sales were down compared to the previous year, possibly due to weather, but the number of attendees who stayed all weekend was higher than any previous year.

Improvements to the fairgrounds, thanks to Pine River Foundation volunteers and the fair board, made weekend long attendance at the event more convenient than ever, possibly contributing to the overall attendance.

The 2018 Lakes Bluegrass Festival is scheduled for Aug. 23-26 with several bands already booked. More information can be found at lakesbluegrassfestival.com.

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