SIOUX CITY -- Thousands of people gathered at Grandview Park on Saturday for the 28th annual Saturday in the Park.
Scores in the crowd went shirtless as the afternoon heat index climbed into the 90s, according to the Sioux Falls National Weather Service. Saturday in the Park co-founder Dave Bernstein said he was looking forward to the weather later in the day. As of 9 p.m., the heat index was expected to decline to the 70s.
The festival came off mostly without a hitch, Bernstein said. Except for the broken Ferris wheel.
"It's not going to be operating, we had to take it down -- a cable broke," he said.
As of 7:15 p.m., Bernstein estimated attendance of between 15,000 and 20,000 people. Bernstein said organizers had a "long morning" assembling the festival, getting to work at 7 a.m.
"Lot of bands, lot of gear, lot of trucks," he said.
Bandshell acts included Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, Boz Scaggs, Galactic, Dave Mason and Steve Cropper, and Delta Rae, while the Abe Stage lineup included Arrested Development, Jon Wayne and the Pain, City of the Weak, Ghostcat, Thick Mistress, Young Rambo, Vibe Rations, DJ Alex and Second Sandwich.
Thick Mistress vocalist Steve Carlson said the Sioux City-based band, which has been together on-and-off for about eight years, has never played Saturday in the Park as a unit before -- though each of the members has played individually with other groups. Carlson once played the Abe Stage with a band called Dead Man's Hand.
"This is our first time at Saturday in the Park as Thick Mistress," he said.
Carlson admitted that some of the group's fanbase may have thinned somewhat, as the group has gone through hiatus periods. So they appreciated the exposure.
"It was a great opportunity to play in front of people that might not have seen us before," Carlson said.
The band would like to play at future Saturdays in the Park "If they give us the opportunity," Carlson said.
Bernstein said he couldn't pick favorites among the more than a dozen acts appearing at the event.
"I'm generally psyched for most of them, if not all of them," he said. "I'm looking forward to seeing Arrested Development, I love Galactic, Delta Ray is on right now and they are fantastic."
Sioux City Fire Rescue lieutenant Joe Rodriguez was one of several emergency-response officials on hand in case of illness or injury. As of the mid-afternoon, he said there hadn't been too many emergencies to deal with.
"We had some minor injuries, Band-Aid stuff, scrapes and scratches," he said. "We had one seizure activity."
Heat strokes and heat stress are "always a concern" at outdoor music events, Rodriguez said, "especially when you have alcohol involved."
One attendee wise enough to take shade under an awning was Jodee Trauernicht, who came all the way from Lincoln, Nebraska for the show at the behest of a high school friend. This was Trauernicht's second Saturday in the Park, and she said it didn't take much coaxing to get her to there.
"If we don't have vacation or something, I'd come up," she said.