City officials have deemed the weekend’s Inaugural Summer Salute “a tremendous success” as the two-day festival brought thousands of attendees to downtown Hopkinsville for food, rides, vendors, activities and music. Summer Salute attendance was estimated “somewhere between 13,000 and 15,000” with Saturday night’s Diamond Rio concert crowd projected up to 6,000 as the festival closer, despite thunderstorms that delayed the show’s start.
“Throughout the weekend and all this week our staff has received positive feedback that Summer Salute gave attendees and the community a great sense of Hopkinsville pride,” said Tab Brockman, Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation Superintendent. “Everyone who came downtown on either day had a great time and raved to our staff about the energy in the air, the fun time they were having, and the fact that the events were free.”
Brockman said the festival also had important residual economic impact for the community with many visitors coming from throughout the region for Summer Salute.
“If only 20 percent of the attendees were visitors, the festival easily generated $200,000 or more worth in local economic tourism impact,” Brockman added. “That would be a conservative estimate.”
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The spirit of cooperation was what impressed Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks about Summer Salute.
“Thanks to the hard working team of city staff, volunteers, partners, and sponsors, the Inaugural Summer Salute was a first-class festival that is set to grow in the years ahead. The festival once again proves that a bold vision, unified approach, and strategic decisions lead to Hopkinsville and our region winning,” Hendricks said. “Way to go Team Hopkinsville!”
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Summer Salute title sponsor, Jennie Stuart Health, was also pleased by the festival and community response.
“Jennie Stuart Health was so pleased to be a part of the very first Summer Salute. To see 15,000 people come together in a family atmosphere was amazing,” said Steve King, JSMC Director of Marketing and Community Relations. “We salute the city of Hopkinsville, all of our city and county workers, and especially the people of Hopkinsville and Christian County for a wonderful weekend.
“Jennie Stuart Health looks forward to next August and an even bigger and better event in conjunction with the Solar Eclipse. There are a lot of exciting things going on in Hopkinsville and as we continue to grow and flourish as a community, Jennie Stuart Health is proud to be s part of it,” King added.
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The 2017 Summer Salute will expand to a Friday-Sunday weekend event preceding the Solar Eclipse, taking place August 18-20 before Monday’s Eclipse Day. Current plans are for Summer Salute to move back to the last weekend in August starting in 2018.
The Parks and Recreation team is already reviewing all parts of this year’s Summer Salute in a quest to improve next year’s festival and accommodate the anticipated huge crowd of visitors from around the country and world. More music and events will be added, and the downtown footprint and operating hours will be evaluated.
Public feedback and recommendation for the 2017 Summer Salute is welcome via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.