BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – It was a full night of fried comforts, the spinning neon of a midway, and sounds of national caliber music.
RiverFest 2017 quickly rolled into a Saturday full of activities and brought with it national country recording artist Buddy Jewell, a Keokuk upstart in Trystan Grisham, and former Fort Madison High School graduate turned national Garth Brooks cover artist, Shawn Moss.
Grisham warmed up the main stage with some personally written tunes and then Jewell came on for about an hour and fifteen minutes, but not before taking some pictures with fans back stage. Moss then came on at about 9:30 p.m. and played for a full 90 minutes belting out Brooks’ tunes such a Baton Rouge, Thunder Rolls, and other chart topping hits. Moss said in an earlier interview with the Pen City Current, that unfortunately for him, Garth Brooks was Garth Brooks before Shawn Moss could be Garth Brooks.
And Moss, who plays under the stage name Shawn Gerhard, is every bit the country music mega star of the 90s. A close of the eyes and it’s extremely difficult to tell the cover band from the real deal.
The last day of RiverFest kicks off Sunday morning with the annual Charity Breakfast, in which all proceeds will go to help fund the American Legion’s local Honor Flight efforts. Local American Legion Post 82 will be serving the feast.
The menu for this year’s breakfast will feature sausage patties, scrambled eggs, hash browns, biscuits and gravy, pancakes, coffee, orange juice, and milk. The cost of the breakfast will be a free will donation to The Great River Honor Flight. In addition Shuttle Service will be available from the Riverview Park parking lots to the breakfast site.
According to Dan Vice, the local post commander, sponsors for the breakfast will cover the actual cost of the event. “We would like to thank Fareway Food Stores, Kohl Wholesale, Lee County Bank, and the Fort Madison Elks Lodge for getting involved. Because of their support, 100 percent of the money raised at the breakfast will help send up to seven Lee County Veterans on the Honor Flight. We are hoping for a big crowd and would like to invite everyone to stop in and support our Veterans.”
Also on Sunday, the carnival will run from noon to 7 p.m. with Pickleball demonstrations and games available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A motorcycle stunt show will take place between 11:45 and noon and then The Ozone Ramblers will help offer up a pro-jam session from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Commercial and Craft Vendors will be on site from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.