Following an outpouring of positive feedback and enthusiastic response, dates have already been set for next year’s version of the event. The 4th Annual Summer Salute Festival will be held Aug. 23-24, 2019. Event organizers have begun seeking sponsorships and will start accepting vendor applications Sept. 7 through an online registration process.
“We are excited at the continued popularity and growth of the Summer Salute Festival. With over 25,000 visitors, we know Summer Salute had a tremendous impact on our downtown and the community,” said Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks. “We look forward to making next year’s event even bigger and better as we bring world class musical talent, family friendly activities, and over 100 hundred vendors to downtown Hopkinsville.”
The largest annual festival in Hoptown, which featured 90 vendor spaces and six free concerts Friday and Saturday, spurned a community-wide party and welcomed visitors from around the region and state. Since rebranding and restructuring from the event formerly known as Little River Days, Summer Salute has brought in a total of 75,000 in three years, with no signs of slowing down.
“We are beyond pleased with the response to the third annual Summer Salute Festival,” said Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation Superintendent Tab Brockman. “We got a sense before the festival started that there was a growing anticipation, and our intuition was spot-on as we watched thousands of folks enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of our thriving downtown area. What an awesome weekend.”
Sponsored by Pennyrile Electric and Fortera Credit Union, a concert by nationally-renowned country music vocal group Sawyer Brown capped off the two-day festival Saturday in front of the Christian County Justice Center. The show played an integral role in bringing approximately 14,000 people to downtown Hopkinsville during the second day of the event alone. It also marked the third straight year that a major musical act was slotted as the festival headliner.
In addition, the Jimmy Church Band — led by 79-year-old front man Jimmy Church — played for nearly four hours Friday night on the Watkins Express Freight Stage, creating a surge of energy around Founders Square. The performances by Sawyer Brown and Jimmy Church already have fans of Summer Salute clamoring to find out who will be in attendance during the fourth annual Festival.
Hundreds of people responded to an informal online Facebook poll Monday, providing an array of suggestions on which bands and performers should be considered in 2019.
“The reason we work so hard to prepare and execute this event is to provide a memorable experience for our local citizens and regional visitors, so to see the enthusiasm over Summer Salutes, both present and future, is very encouraging,” Brockman said. “Plans are already in motion for the 2019 version of the festival.”