Monday, August 20, 2007

Deluge washes out Wisconsin festival

By Dancin' Dave

Jack Lawrence and I have been friends for probably at least 20 years now and unfortunately we don't see each other these days as much as we used to. So, I was very excited when I saw that he was booked for Larryfest, a small bluegrass festival in southwestern Wisconsin this past weekend. We made plans to finally have a good visit while drinking some tasty Leinies and doin' some catchin' up. Plus, the fact that Jack is one of my favorite musicians doesn't hurt, either...>g<

Other bands booked for Laryfest included the Wilders, Special Consensus, Mountain Heart, Druha Trava and a few other lesser known bands.

So, the plan was to visit daughter Erica and my newborn granddaughter Regan on Friday night/Saturday morning and then head over to the festival around noon on Saturday.

I awoke Saturday morning to rain, but it wasn't that much of a concern...until I heard a forecast that predicted a day-long rain. This forecast was one of mixed feelings, for Wisconsin really needed the rain. It kept raining throughout the morning, so we kept putting off driving over to the festival. Finally, we decided to head on over, arriving just on time for Jack's set at 4:30, with the thought that we'd be able to visit after he was done.

We arrived at around 4:00 and the rain had continued. We were directed to a parking lot, with the advice that we find a high and dry spot! (sure....) Even though I had the truck in 4 wheel drive I couldn't even get into the parking lot through the mud, and actually almost slid into a culvert/ditch. It was obvious that the whole situation was not good and I could see that anybody even thinking of leaving was not goin' anywhere without some heavy duty towing with heavy duty machinery. So with heavy hearts Lynn and I headed away from the festival, headed to Madison to visit newborn granddaughter #2 and my other two daughters. And the rain kept comin' harder and harder and was even scary driving on the Beltline around Madison.

The next morning Erica called and told us the horrific news: the area received between 10 and 12 inches of rain, roads and bridges were washd out and major highways were closed! And...she was sooo happy that we didn't stay at the festival!
Bottom line: the entire area is a disaster area, with whole towns evacuated and many roads and bridges gone. I emailed Jack and then called him, thankful to find that he was home safe in North Carolina....he got out of the area just in time, also.
But we're all worried about all the folks stranded and especially those festivarians who had to be trapped at the venue....and thinking positively that everyone is alright!

If anyone was there and has read this I hope that you can let me and other concerned folks that you are safe, sound and in a dry place by now!

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