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5th Annual Hoptown Summer Salute Takes Center Stage

After a one-year COVID-19 hiatus, the Hopkinsville Division of Parks and Recreation welcomes back the 5th Annual Summer Salute Festival in downtown Hoptown this Friday and Saturday.

The largest annual festival in Hopkinsville, Summer Salute is a free two-day music festival that will include over 100 food/drink and merchandise vendors, kids rides and activities for every age. The festival opens at 10:00 a.m. both days and is scheduled to run through 10:00 p.m. both nights.

This year's Summer Salute will culminate with Saturday night’s headliner — two-time Grammy Award Winner and country music icon, Travis Tritt — performing on “the big stage” at 7 p.m. in front of the Hopkinsville Justice Center. Up-and-coming country music artists Olivia Faye and Kyle Daniel will open for Tritt.

The Jimmy Church Band will be making his much-anticipated annual appearance at Summer Salute on Friday at 6 p.m. on the Bluegrass Beverage Stage in Founders Square. Church and his talented band bring the boogie and spans genres and decades in music to start the weekend off right.

Saturday festival music is presented by ATMOS Energy, Fortera Credit Union, Hopkinsville Electric System, Hopkinsville Water Environment Authority, Oak Grove Racing, Gaming & Hotel and Pennyrile Electric. All of the festival music acts are free of charge. Music is the foundation of Summer Salute and various artists will be performing throughout the two days.

Friday Artists – Bluegrass Beverage Stage at Founders Square

- Clayton Q, 11:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

- Live/Wire, 3:00-4:30 p.m

- The Jimmy Church Band, 6:00-10:00 p.m.

Saturday Artists – Bluegrass Beverage Stage at Founders Square

- 101st Division Air Assault Rock Band, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

- Ethan Torsak Band, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

- Country Twang Band, 3:30-6:30 p.m.

Saturday Headline Artists – Justice Center Stage

- Travis Tritt with featured guests Olivia Faye and Kyle Daniel, 7 till @10 p.m.

“Bringing high-quality, big-name artists to Downtown Hopkinsville is part of the Summer Salute tradition,” said Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation Superintendent Tab Brockman. “Those shows are the pillars of our event, but we are also excited to offer so many other free activities throughout the weekend, in collaboration with the community.”

In addition to music, kids will have a wide arrange of free activities at Kid's Zone locations at Summer Salute, including rides and bounce houses. With a new ride vendor, this year’s carnival section will showcase rides for slightly older children.

Jennie Stuart Health is sponsoring the popular Kiddie Train that takes children and families around the perimeter of the festival. This year’s festivities also includes a petting zoo, a new feature.

Free amusement rides are sponsored by H&R AgriPower, Rachel Smith of Advantage Realty, T-Mobile, WKDZ/WHVO, WHOP/Lite 98.7, Higgins Insurance, Hopkinsville Solid Waste Enterprise, Beaver 100.3 FM, Continental Mills/Krusteaz, W&R Services, and Holiday Inn.

A great mix of craft and food vendors will be on-site Friday and Saturday to add to the festival atmosphere. The beer and beverage garden will be in Founders Square on Friday and then relocate west on 9th Street, closer to the Justice Center on Saturday.

"We’ve seen the community heavily embrace this event since its inception," Brockman shared. "Our vendor spots quickly sold out this year, proof that this is a community-oriented event. We’ve always had outstanding food vendors since year the festival started in 2016. Our Parks and Rec team is particularly pleased by the high quality of the merchandise vendors participating this year."

With COVID still impacting the country, it is recommended that anyone who feels sick stay home and come back next year for the 2022 Summer Salute. A large number of hand sanitizing stations will be located throughout the festival footprint and event-goers are encouraged to wear masks when not eating, if they are comfortable doing so.

“We understand that having a good time is everyone’s goal at Summer Salute,” Brockman added. “We want that fun to continue as the focus of the event this year, but we also ask everyone’s cooperation in respecting the various steps and precaution that each festival-goer takes in response to their own COVID safety. The festival is obviously an outdoors event, but if COVID makes you uncomfortable in a crowd, stay home this year.”

Downtown traffic will be impacted from Thursday night at 5 p.m. through Sunday at 4:00 a.m. Festival vendor load-in begins at 5 p.m. Thursday. Ninth Street will be closed from the 7th/9th Street split to Main Street. Bethel Street will also be closed from 7th to 10th Streets. One lane of Main Street will be closed from 7th to 9th Streets for the train route. Seventh Street will remain open throughout the festival for downtown traffic flow.

For complete Summer Salute schedule details visit the festival website at hoptownsummersalute.com or contact Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation at (270) 887-4290 or info-parks-and-rec@hopkinsvilleky.us. Timely updates throughout the festival will also be available on the Hoptown Summer Salute Facebook event page or on Twitter and Instagram.