Sweet Home Hammond, Indiana – Annual Hammond Town Lakes Festival – NWILife
Darius Rucker kicked off the first night of the City of Hammond Festival of the Lakes with fanfare. This festival draws people from all over the Chicagoland area to Hammond to enjoy food, carnival rides and games, and most importantly: live music.
The festival takes place at Wolf Lake Memorial Park over a period of five days, beginning July 13. Darius Rucker was the opening night headliner, but the rest of the festival features headlining artists including Counting Crows, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Rick Ross. .
Participant Dwayne Edmondson was born and raised in Hammond and now lives in Crown Point. This year was his first time attending the Festival of the Lakes. He praised what Mayor McDermott is doing for the town of Hammond as well as what he is doing for the community of Hammond.
“I live in Crown Point now, but I love what the Mayor and the people of Hammond have done for Hammond. This is my first time here; this park is absolutely amazing. I love it,” Edmondson said.
The park was buzzing with energy as people entered to prepare for the main show. Contestant Kristy Shaw was having an amazing time joking and laughing with her friends and family while waiting for Darius Rucker to take the stage. She too praised the mayor.
“Mayor McDermott is putting on a great show for the town of Hammond,” Shaw said.
Edmondson was drawn to the Festival of the Lakes because of the opening night performer as well as the location in his hometown. He’s seen Darius Rucker live before, but being able to see one of his favorite country artists perform in his hometown was unparalleled.
“Darius Rucker is one of the best country performers I’ve ever seen. I went to the Tinley Park Convention Center. I saw them there twice. And I come here to support him today,” Edmondson said.
The atmosphere of the event was described by attendee Kristy Shaw as both beautiful and exciting. You could see people across the park smiling, laughing and having a good time with their friends and family while enjoying the live music.
“Being here in the environment and enjoying the drinks, the people and the music feels good,” Edmondson said. ” Everybody is happy. Everyone is positive. Everyone’s here to have a good time, and we’re here ready to yee-haw.
To kick off day three, Apollo Selene started playing some incredible hits from the classic rock era such as Jimi Hendrix’s All Along the Watchtower, Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’, and more! They were followed by the Highway Band which featured blues music using a very cool tambourine and harmonica solos.
Rain or shine, the people of Northwest Indiana came to have a good time and see the amazing Lynyrd Skynyrd. You could see everyone smiling and laughing with their friends for miles. The atmosphere was electric all evening.
“It’s a time when everyone comes together,” said Aileen Ibarra, special events coordinator for Hammond Parks. “I personally know that some families travel [to Hammond] especially for this festival, and it’s something they look forward to every summer. Even people who grew up in Northwest Indiana or Hammond come back especially for the festival, and being with family is a memorable experience for them.
Mayor McDermott was seen addressing the crowd to introduce Lynyrd Skynyrd. The theme of this concert that he approached was peace and the love that has been fulfilled. He did a fantastic job of getting the crowd on their feet. He and a few others on stage also threw a bunch of shirts into the crowd, so don’t miss your chance to get yours over the next few days!
A participant born and raised in Hammond spoke about how much the town has changed since he was a child.
“It’s crazy that this same place is where I used to run, play in the mud and try to find turtles when I was a kid. Now I’m about to see one of my favorite bands here!
Lynyrd Skynyrd played many of their classics such as Gimme Three Steps, Simple Man, Sweet Home Alabama, and of course they finished with one of the most iconic songs in rock history, Free Bird.
The Festival of the Lakes will continue throughout the week with artists such as Rick Ross with the Lox and Los Originales de San Juan with Condigo FN.
For tickets and more information, please visit festivalofthelakes.com. For more information regarding the town of Hammond, please visit gohammond.com.