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December 06th, 2021

hpmf 2020 file spotlight pageCasi Joy performs a song as part of last year’s High Plains Music Fest. This year’s event will take place Saturday, Sept. 11. L&T file photo/Elly GrimmELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

September is officially here, which means it is almost time for the annual High Plains Music Fest. 

There will be plenty of fun for people to partake in, according to coordinator Jan Leonard. 

“This year's High Plains Music Fest will be Saturday, Sept. 11, and will start with the craft fair at 10 a.m. at Eagle RV Park in Hugoton. We'll have Great American Kites coming back, and they'll be there from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Eagle RV Park, and we'll also have the KSCB cornhole tournament, and that will be the last leg of the tournament before the grand finale, and those prizes will be $500 for first place, $350 for second place, and $250 for third place,” Leonard said. “All of that will be going on, and we'll have some other vendors our there with crafts and things like that, so that should be really good for us. Gates will open at 4 p.m. at Dirtona Raceway in Hugoton for the concerts that night, and the music will start at 6 p.m. with Weston Wilkerson, followed by Lindsey Lane (who will also be singing the national anthem shortly after her set), then William Clark Green, and ending with Granger Smith. We've got two jumbotron screens coming this year, and we'll be doing a flyover and tribute to 9/11 since that day will be the 20th anniversary, and that will include some video of what happened that day. After the flyover stuff and a fireworks show is when William Clark Green will perform, and then later that night will be an auction from the National Wild Turkey Federation for some rifles.”

Overall, Leonard said, all the fun should be very exciting to those who turn out. 

“Our 9/11 tribute has a lot of work being put into it, and I'm really looking forward to the audience seeing how we put that together. Granger Smith is the biggest headliner we've had for the High Plains Music Fest so far, and he's a great musician, and his set will include some great pyrotechnics,” Leonard said. “We're really excited with all the artists for this year, it's a great lineup, and I would say this is our biggest show ever so far. When we put this together, we look for three great openers and then a big headliner, and there are always backups in mind in case there is someone we really want to have perform but can't due to scheduling or other circumstances. And it can be hard to find those people sometimes because they're so busy and everything, and Granger Smith is one we've wanted to perform for a long time, and he'll also be bringing his Earl Dibbles Jr. act. The fireworks we'll have will be amazing, and the artists we have performing are artists that don't come to this area very often, they're really big and perform throughout the U.S. pretty frequently.”

Leonard added there will be some COVID-19 safety measures in place for those who turn out for this year. 

“Masks are certainly welcome, people are definitely welcome to wear their masks if that's what they're comfortable with, and we'll probably have some masks there on site for people who ask for them. We'll also have hand sanitizer throughout the grounds for people. It's great our show's outside, that really helps us as far as being able to spread things out a little more, and people will also be able to gauge a little easier their comfort level with the crowds. “

Overall, Leonard said, he is excited to see how this year’s event turns out. 

“I'm looking forward to everyone coming out here and having a good time, a lot of people have been extra careful and staying at home more than usual, so this is a good time for people to get out and about and listen to some good music,” Leonard said. “I'm also looking forward to seeing how people react to our 9/11 tribute we've put together, and that will mean a lot to people since this year is an anniversary year. The craft show is also going to bring out a lot of people, so overall, this year is going to be huge for everyone. So many people say there's not a lot to do in Southwest Kansas, and we've got this coming up, so we're hoping a lot of people show up, because we've put a lot of time and planning into this year's show. My board members and volunteers are amazing, they've worked so hard with all of this, and I also want to thank all our sponsors for this year, we would NOT be able to this without them.”

This year’s event will not be one to miss, Leonard said. 

“We'll also have a big tent set up that night to help with shade, so if people want to be guaranteed a spot, they need to get there early and set up their lawn chairs and all of that so they're guaranteed some shade,” Leonard said. “People definitely need to be there for the fireworks shows and the flyover, those will be really big for people to see.”

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