Final preparations are being made for the 2016 Kicker Country Stampede, which begins Thursday at Tuttle Creek State Park.
Wayne Rouse, President of the Country Stampede, told KMAN that they’ve been working on the site since Sunday morning. “We’ve got the stage up. We’re getting ready to set the sound. VIP is all set up. It’s in great shape actually. We’re ahead of where we normally are”.
The festival brings top-name talent to Manhattan. This year’s lineup includes three-time Grammy winner Tim McGraw, along with Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, and rising stars Sam Hunt, Chace Rice, and Cassadee Pope. In all, 16 acts will entertain from the Main Stage, with performances all weekend long on two secondary stages as well.
Rouse said they’re expecting sizeable crowds once again this year. “It should be about the same as last year”, he said. “Around twenty five to thirty thousand” fans.
This is the festivals’ 21st year in existence, all at the Tuttle Creek location. And as you might expect, with all that experience Rouse and his dedicated team have worked out almost every kink. Many of the staff are Stampede veterans, just like many of the fans who’ll be attending.
As always, the safety of those attendance is the first thing on Rouse’s mind. With temperatures predicted in the upper 90’s, fans are reminded to stay hydrated. As in years past, there will be bottled water available along with free potable water at various locations. Remember to bring, and use, sunscreen. And if you need medical assistance, services are available from members of the Riley County EMS and Blue Township Fire Departments. In addition, uniformed officers and Stampede security staff will be patroling the grounds.