Weather can't deter Heartland Jam fans


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Posted Online: July 19, 2013, 10:10 pm
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By Kevin Smith, ksmith@qconline.com
DAVENPORT – Country music fans braved sweltering heat and thunderstorm threats to see some of their favorite performers Friday at Centennial Park in Davenport.

The Heartland Jam Music Festival, in its second year, attracted fans of all ages to see national and local country musicians on multiple stages. Friday's big names includedDarius Rucker, the former frontman from Hootie and the Blowfish, and Kellie Pickler, "American Idol" finalist and winner of "Dancing with the Stars."

Michael and Gloria Haut, of Davenport, staked out a spot directly in the middle of the festival grounds encircled by three stages, the beer tent, food vendors and, of course, the restrooms.

"I'm here to see Kellie," Mr. Haut said, as stage crews set up for the performer. "That's my sweetheart, besides my wife."

The couple braved the heat for a while, arriving early in the evening when temperatures were still in the mid-90s. But as wind speeds picked up, storm clouds loomed to the north.

Mr. Haut said he was undeterred. Half an hour later, the threat passed and Ms. Pickler took the stage without missing a beat.

Nicole Hazelwood, of Dixon, was more excited to see headliner Darius Rucker.

"Me and Hootie go way back," said Ms. Hazelwood, a fan of Mr. Rucker in his former band throughout the '90s.

She shared that she also tied her previous record on the mechanical bull.

"3.1 seconds – I'm a professional," she joked.

Others tested their driving skills with a dirt racing simulator housed inside a modified dirt car.

"A dirt car at a concert seems kind of weird, but it's a great time," said Jay Roelandt, owner of the Davenport-based Roelandt Racing Systems.

This was his second year of bringing the simulator to the Heartland Jam. Profits from the event will go to the Loren Arp Memorial Foundation, which provides financial assistance to families of children undergoing treatment at the University of Iowa's burn center.

"It's good that it's all going to charity," he said.

Mr. Roelandt said he was fine with not making any money; he noted he has a "front row" view of the main stage for both days. Today he can seeLauren Alaina,Jerrod Niemann andRodney Atkins.

That lineup appealed to Jimmy Holt, of Davenport, who waited in line at the beer tent before Friday night's headliner.

"I'm just coming out for another great event in the Quad-Cities," Mr. Holt said, saying it was something he and his wife could enjoy a week before the Bix.

"Everything is just coming together perfectly," he added.



If you go:

The Heartland Jam Music Festival continues today 2 p.m. to midnight at Centennial Park, 315 S. Marquette St., Davenport. Tickets are $45 for the day. For more details, call 563-391-0888.












 



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  Today is Tuesday, July 22, the 203rd day of 2014. There are 162 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Everybody is invited to go on a moonlight excursion next Monday evening on the steamer New Boston. The trip will be from Davenport to Muscatine and back.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The mayor and bridge committee let a contract to the Clinton Bridge company for a $1,125 iron bridge across Sears canal near Milan.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Injunction proceedings to compel the Central Association to keep a baseball team in Rock Island for the remainder of the season were contemplated by some of the Rock Island fans, but they decided to defer action.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The first of the new and more powerful diesel engines built for the Rock Island Lines for the proposed Chicago-Denver run, passed thru the Tri-Cities this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island Rescue Mission is negotiating for the purchase of the Prince Hall Masonic Home located at 37th Avenue and 5th Street, Rock Island.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Quad Cities Container Terminal is being lauded as a giant business boon that will save several days and hundreds of dollars on each goods shipment to the coasts. The Quad Cities Container Terminal is the final piece of the puzzle that opens up increase access to world markets, Robert Goldstein said.








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