HARRINGTON –– The first Delaware Junction Country Music Festival got off to a loud start Thursday with a large crowd and plenty to do at the Delaware State Fairgrounds.
Music kicked off on the Main Stage at 2:40 p.m. with JT Hodges and the grounds had plenty for festival-goers to explore.
One of the biggest landmarks on the grounds was a giant inflatable water slide which had a line of swimsuit-clad music fans in line all day.
“Luckily, we brought our suits just in case,” Tim Harper of Newark said as he and Krista Brazell were getting in line for a third trip down the slide.
“It’s a great way to cool off and it’s fun they have something like this,” Ms. Brazell said, wearing an American flag print bikini to match Mr. Harper’s swim trunks.
For those who didn’t come decked out in Americana, several vendors were at Delaware Junction selling the most important country festival accessories, cowboy hats, with all kinds of red, white and blue patterns.
The two were camping in an RV and said the sense of community in the campgrounds has been amazing so far.
“It’s our first music festival and we love it so far,” Mr. Harper said.
“Everyone just pulls in, gets comfortable and starts meeting each other and making new friends,” Ms. Brazell said.
“Even though we’ve only stayed one night so far, it seems like we’ve made some really good friends.”
For others looking to get wet, the festival has a tent set up called the Foam Party where people can dance around in suds up to their waist while a DJ cranks up dance music.
A large swing ride was also on site for music fans to take a swirl, some coming off too dizzy to walk a straight line.
“We bought tickets right when they went on sale,” Haley Debos of Harrington said while meeting up with some friends near the swing. “It’s a good summer for music and we went to Big Barrel too.”
Ms. Debos’ friend Lizz Layton of Milford said after the first day, she likes Delaware Junction better of the two.
“I like that it’s a little smaller and everything is right here,” she said. “Even though we live close, we are camping out and everything at the festival is within easy walking distance.”
The two were most looking forward to seeing Florida Georgia Line which is set to wrap up the festival Sunday at 9:20 p.m.
Many of the early patrons of the festival were campers who had arrived either Wednesday or Thursday morning.
“Our necks are red and our collars are blue. We are about as American as American gets,” Jason Cressman of southern New Jersey said reclining in his American-themed camping compound as the music was getting underway.
Mr. Cressman and his group of 14 drove three campers down from New Jersey and took about three hours to set up red, white and blue tents, chairs, grills, flags, banners, cornhole and Jenga.
The group even spray-painted stars on the grass and built their own American display where admirers of their setup could take commemorative photos.
“We’ve been to about one music festival a summer, last year we went to Ohio and we love listening to good music and having a good time,” Megan Ondo, a member of the Cressman crowd added.
Although many campers were planning on grilling most their meals, inside the festival gates, many dining options ranging from Asian cuisine to seafood, grilled cheese and pizza were available for purchase as were beer and Malibu
Rum mixed drinks offered at the Malibu Rum Beach House.
Tickets for Delaware Junction are still available and may be purchased at the gate.