On Saturday, MSU Athletics and Kwik Trip teamed up to host the inaugural Bend of the River Music Festival. There was something for everyone: cornholes, vendors, concerts.
Kevin Buisman, director of athletics at MSU, reached out to James and her business partner Jerry Brahm about hosting a festival on campus in 2019, organizer Robin James said. The event was delayed due to Hockey Day Minnesota.
“It’s like a collaboration with [MSU Athletics] We want to showcase campus and athletics, and our team is on board to do something good for the community by raising funds for high school and MSU athletics,” said James. said.
The idea for the festival’s name comes from the geographical location of the two rivers that meet, hoping to reach as many surrounding communities as possible.
“We wanted to reach a lot of the communities in the Bend of the River area. ‘ said James.
Planning for the event began in November 2021. Coordinating artists and vendors took him nine months, but James hopes to make the festival an annual event based on the results of the event.
“We want to make this a community staple and keep it going every year,” said James.
Juan Moreno was the competitive winner of the cornhole competition. Moreno joined Central Minnesota as part of Central Minnesota, a cloud-based organization that runs cornhole tournaments around Minnesota. Moreno has been with the group for three years.
“We started in 2020 and said, ‘Let’s get this. [group] Go, and Covid hit. Nothing was open, so we waited a year for the competition to start,” Moreno said.
Moreno said he enjoys hanging out and meeting new people, but his competitive streak hasn’t gone away. are also doing quite a bit.
“I practice 10 hours a week for tournaments. The sport is growing and I want to get better,” Moreno said.
During the festival, MSU athletes attended and signed posters. Following the cornhole tournament, IV (Foreplay) were the first band of the night. Artist Jason Nicks followed shortly after.
Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM) New Female Artist of the Year nominee Priscilla Bullock took the stage to perform her most famous song, “Thick Thighs.”
After her performance, MSU President Edward Inch, Kevin Buzman and Stomper took the stage to receive the $50,000 check MSU Athletics received from the event. A local high school raised $2,500 for the school, and event volunteers he served 350 hours.
As the sun went down and the sky darkened, headliner Jimmy Allen showed off his set. Allen was named New Artist of the Year at the Country Music Asscoaiton Awards this March and New Male Artist for the Year at the ACM Awards.
Best known for his song “Best Shot,” this Deleware local danced and sang until the end of the night, which ended around 9:45pm.
With plenty of performances and fun, the Bend of the River Festival brought the community together for a good cause.
Header Photo: Jimmy Allen performs Saturday night at the 1st Annual Bend of the River Festival at Braxley Stadium. All proceeds from this event were donated to his MSU Athletic and high school athletic programs in the area. (Dylan Long/Reporter)
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