By Clay Schuldt
NEW ULM-Rain threatened to put a damper on Riverblast 2014, but the weather was no deterrent for music lovers.
Staff photo by Clay Schuldt
Above: Cold Blooded Whisky kicks off the 2014 Riverblast. Band members include brothers Sean Hagen on guitar (left) and Brady Hagen on Bass (right). Wade Crooker is featured on keyboard and Terry Zinnel on drums.
Storm clouds hung over the festival grounds all day and finally let loose an hour before the first band, Cold Blooded Whisky, took the stage. The band's sound check was conducted under a downpore, but the heavy rains stopped 15 minutes before the musicians began playing. In an acknowledgment of the weather conditions, the rock band played "Sunshine of Your Love" by "Cream," followed by Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine."
Even during the worst of the rain, campers continued to fill up the Riverside Campground. The few tent campers, including Mary Foley and Ray Reibeling, were prepared for the weather, having brought a large waterproof tarp for extra shelter. Foley and Reibeling have been attending Riverblast for the last several years and have faced worse conditions. Reibeling explained that last year they had to pack up in hurry due to high winds and a possible tornado.
One benefit of the rainfall is a higher river level for the Canoe Obstacle Course scheduled Saturday. Mankato Paddling & Outing will also be offering free canoe rides in a 28-foot vessel called "War Canoe."
Saturday's music schedule will also include Blue Grass Band Dick Kimmel and Company at 3 p.m., to be followed by the Shell's Hobo Band at 3:30 p.m. Zydeco Dance band Jumbo Ya Ya will take the stage at 5 p.m. and a 50's and 60's rock band, the Arcades, will play at 8:30 p.m. to close out Riverblast.