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Paynesville Press - July 24,2002

20,000 attend Cornstalk 2002

By Bonnie Jo Hanson

Cornstack site A record crowd turned out for the 14th annual Cornstalk Country Music Festival last weekend.

This site, created by the Tom and Diane Utsch family, was the winner of the "Creative Use of Corn" campground contest. The countertop was made of granite with the words Cornstalk and two cornstalks etched into it. The sign was made of green neon rope light.

According to Paula Duemke, who co-ordinated the event held by the County Line Bar in Regal, about 8,000 country music fans were on hand Friday evening. They partied to performances by Bill Anderson, Little Big Town, and the Honkey Tonk Tailgate Party - a band that was made up of Rhett Akins, Daryle Singeltary and Wade Hayes,

On Saturday, approximately 12,000 braved the heat, humidity, and the muddy grounds left over from the morning's rain to enjoy music performed by Bobby Bare, Tammy Cochran, Terri Clark, and Sawyer Brown.

Signing autographs In between the headliners' sets the crowd was entertained by local bands.

Anna Kotten, 12, (left) and Jessica Nietfeld, 11, (center) got autographs from Tammy Cochran after waiting almost an hour to meet the singer on Saturday.

The campground, adjacent to the festival grounds, was full this year. Campers, tents, and buses were packed into every possible space. There were 650 campsites rented.

The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Department was present on both nights. Chief Deputy Ron Hartog said he was pleased with the conduct of the party-goers this year. All in all, everyone was pretty well-behaved.

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