Country Stampede

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Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of the 8 Wonders of Manhattan running in the Collegian over the summer. A new wonder will be on each front page.

For the last 15 years, Manhattanites have spent mid-June preparing for a welcome stampede of money.

Four days of music, beer, camping and heat bring crowds to local liquor stores and make for interesting people-watching. The event is estimated to have a $12 million impact on the local economy.

For the four-day festival, Tuttle Creek State Park transforms into a multi-stage festival ground and 2,400 campsites.

Country Stampede is the brainchild of Wayne Rouse, who has also produced rodeos and professional wrestling events. The festival has established itself as a major Midwestern summer event since its inception in 1996.

The entertainment lineup typically consists of big-name country music award winners, a few new stars and some classic country groups. ZZ Top, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift, and The Beach Boys are among the more than 300 acts to perform at the festival. In recent years the festival has added carnival rides and other attractions.

Some locals schedule summer vacations so they are out of town during Stampede, while others join in the fun and work the festival. Stampede shows no sign of slowing down and as long as the crowd brings cash into the local economy, Manhattanites will continue to welcome the invasion.

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