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2019 Saturday in the Park

Deb DeBoer, of Sioux City, center, dances as Con Brio performs on stage during Saturday in the Park at Grandview Park in Sioux City.

SIOUX CITY -- The skies were clear and the temperature cracked into the low 80s as the sun shone bright in Grandview Park Saturday for the 29th annual Saturday in the Park. 

Shade was a necessity, but that didn't stop concert goers from taking up nearly every single blade of grass that the hill in Grandview Park had to offer. 

That's why Ruby and Steele Welcher, of Sioux City, made sure to bring their outrageously over-sized straw beach hats. Cast in her own shade, Ruby remarked how great of an idea it was. 

"They're ugly, but so functional," Ruby said. "When we're out in the sun, people ask to borrow them. But we're of the age that we don't care how we look."

Beyond the shade, the smell of sunscreen wafted over the crowd enjoying the mix of vocals, piano and other instruments from the Michigan Rattlers. It mixed with other smells that dominated the concert, like pizza, elephant ears and Greek gyros. 

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Some in attendance laid on beach towels tossed on the ground, while others set up shop in the shade and staked their blankets down. To get a better look at who was on stage, one couple peered through binoculars. 

Beyond the music, fun was to be had, as is expected every year from those that make the trek into the sun and weather.  

Zander Kok, of Omaha, found himself at the Saturday in the Park not as a concert goer, but as an employee for the Omaha Bubble Co. He and others were responsible for the bubbles that drifted high into the air over the whole concert Saturday as children grinned, laughed and chased after them. 

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"Oh, absolutely," Kok said, speaking to the joy he gets from making bubbles for the kids. "Bubbles are fun for everybody no matter if you're young or old."

Though many may have come for the small shops set up upon the hill, like the massage tent, the caricature artist or the face painting booth, Jeff Claussen declared how important he thought Saturday in the Park was.  

"I love this place," Jeff Claussen said, after remarking on all the great artists he had seen through the years -- like B. B. King and Buddy Guy. "That's what keeps me coming back."

While Claussen has seen some of the greats in music lore visit Sioux City through the years, others in attendance Saturday didn't travel to Grandview Park to see any particular artist. 

"No, (we didn't come to see) anybody in particular. We just came to see anybody," Evan Livermore, of Minneapolis, said. 

In fact, 2019's Saturday in the Park attracted music lovers from all across the region, from places like Sioux Falls, Vermillion, South Dakota, and Minneapolis. People came out in droves, some hoping to catch a glimpse of their favorite artist, others set to pack up the car and travel miles and miles with nine other friends in something of a musical journey. 

"I honestly don't know (how long it's been,)" Krystal Taylor said as she came out of the tent she and her friends put up to stay out of the sun.

Taylor and her nine friends have been coming to Saturday in the Park for six years. Or was it seven? Eight? None of them seemed to be able to remember, but they knew -- all friends from different moments in life, together -- they had always come for the atmosphere of Saturday in the Park.

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