POINT PLEASANT — The third annual Peck Fest returned last weekend and saw “record breaking” crowds, according to festival founder and organizer, Garry Peck.
Friday night saw headliner Tracy Lawrence and Saturday saw Aaron Lewis close out the festival.
Held at Peck’s Kanawha River Campground, there were 75 tent camping sites which filled up and Peck nearly ran out of room for the campers which showed up for the two-day event of concerts along the river. There were festival goers from not only the tri-county area but from Alabama, Texas, Pennsylvania and New York who traveled to the event. All those people brought their money into Mason County and the surrounding area, not just to the festival, but to places to buy fuel, food, supplies and at hotels, Peck supposed.
Though Peck had been working hard to bring in a crowd, even he was surprised at this year’s attendance.
“I was surprised at all the people…we had several gate sales and walk-ins,” he said, adding it looked like a small town had formed on the campground and under the many tents in the field where the festival took place. In addition to more people, there were more things for those people to do this year, including more vendors and activities, more sponsors, and large video screens on both sides of the stage.
Though he was pleasantly surprised at the turnout, Peck did prepare for it by working with the Peck Fest Committee as well as Mason County EMS, EMA and 911 personnel, as well as the Mason County Sheriff’s Department and even the U.S. Coast Guard, to keep everyone safe.
“I want to thank all of them,” Peck said.
Peck and his wife Karrie were even recognized by Rick Modesitt Associates (RMA), a concert booking company, with a “star guitar” autographed by all this weekend’s performers for a successful festival.
Garry said the surprise gift, presented by RMA representative Jacob Hill, meant a lot to him and he appreciated the “pat on the back” and recognition for what Peck Fest has been trying to accomplish the last few years.
And, there will be a next year.
“Yeah, I’m bringing it back next year….there’s too many people looking forward to it,” Garry said, saying he’s already gotten requests for reservations in 2018. “It’s game on.”
Garry said the festival next year will be bigger and better and continue to grow. Of course, the festival doesn’t just benefit, so do local organizations. Some proceeds from the festival go back into community organizations determined by the festival committee. A successful festival is good for the community.
“There’s no other place around here where you can camp, you’ve got the river for boats and you have concerts…it’s the whole package,” Garry said.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.