SIOUX CITY | Music lovers of all ages and tastes enjoyed the 27th edition of Saturday in the Park. 

Event co-founder Dave Bernstein was pleased with how the free music festival was proceeding Saturday night.

"Perfect weather and great crowds at both stages," Bernstein said around 6 p.m. "Been a great day so far."

Jackson Byrnes was one of the tens of thousands to go to the free music festival at Grandview Park and enjoy Saturday's 80-degree weather.   

"This is my first time in Sioux City for it," said Byrnes, who is interning with the city over the summer. "They do a great job with this. It's set up well. People are having fun."

Byrnes mentioned he had an "amazing big ole' turkey leg" from one of the dozens of vendors that created a savory aura throughout the bowl-shaped park. He also said the musical aura wasn't bad either.

"All (the music) I've heard so far is good," Byrnes said while Johnnyswim was playing at the main stage. "I'm actually excited to see the rapping dads. I truly am. I'm going to hit that up. That would be worth getting off the main stage to see." 

The bandshell, or main stage, was headlined Saturday by English soul singer Joss Stone. Local favorites such as Port Nocturnal and 35th & Taylor began jamming at noon and they were followed by Eric Lindell, Johnnyswim, The Revivalists and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. 

The Abe Stage located by the Abraham Lincoln statue on the south side of the park was kicked off by Tapwater Shrimp and then Stop Motion Skeletons, Goodbye Old Friend, Heatbox, Tuff Roots, DAD (a local group Byrnes was mentioning whose music videos have gone viral online), Prof, Brother Ali and anchored by SharkWeek.

Not just the people who could see the musicians enjoyed them. 

Lauren Hoversten and Kelsey Martin sat with a group of friends on a balcony of a townhouse on Douglas Street on the northeast corner of the park. 

"We are grilling and we are chilling and enjoying Saturday in the Park," Hoversten said.

Even though their view of the stages was blocked by a hill, the Sioux Cityans still planned to plunk their feet in a kiddie pool, grill hamburgers and listen. 

"The vibe still carries over this way, we can still hear the music," Hoversten explained. "... I get to use a nice clean bathroom, A-C and I get to be around the people I want to be around. It's a more enjoyable experience this way."

Martin said she too enjoys kicking it at home but she still appreciates the event.  

"I think the fact that (Sioux City) has a free festival is cool ... all you need to do is bring a blanket and you get to listen to all of these different shows for free," she said. "I don't think you can get that in a lot of big cities."

Despite recent legislation, organizers banned fireworks and guns from coming to the Independence Day Weekend festival in an effort to protect event-goers.

Major Tony Wingert with the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office said he wasn't aware of any major disturbances.

"Everything is usually good here," he said.


Crime and general assignment reporter

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