5th Annual Peacemaker Festival Underway In Fort Smith

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — The Riverfront Amphitheater in Fort Smith has been packed as the 5th annual Peacemaker Music Festival is well underway.

The place was full of locals and music lovers who came out to listen to artists like the Randy Rogers Bank and Robert Earl Keen, but everyone just seems to be thankful the show could go on after the floodwaters took over the venue just two months ago.

"The atmosphere is really laid back everyone is having a good time enjoying the music it’s awesome," festival-goer Hannah Miller said.

Merritt Neil, a Fort Smith native, says she loves seeing her community gathered together.

"Just that everyone can come gather down here and have a good time right by the river means so much to me, I love it down here it’s so much fun," Neil said.

Many people had doubts that the event would even be able to go on after the historic flooding.

"I was worried at first because I bought them a while back and then this got flooded, I was like crap are they even going to do the show and when it got back on I was like ok good," Kessler Nye said.

As the river water went down, ticket sale went up.

Organizers say despite water once submerging the venue, sales for this year's festival have met an all-time record high.

"I think it’s a really good representation that we can still have something like this cool after we had a historic flooding really recently I think that’s really awesome we can still put this on," Miller said.

Many festival-goers say the turnout is a perfect example of how strong the River Valley truly is.

"This whole venue was flooded just two months ago and just to see all the people gathered around here, a lot of Fort Smith natives and Oklahoma right across the border, it’s really good to see everyone coming together and listening to good music," Gage Gattis said.

There's still plenty of music to be played and the party starts back up Saturday (July 27) at 4 p.m. with a whole new line up, wrapping up with headliner Ryan Bingham.

The event is led by an all volunteer team that works to give proceeds back to local charities, the arts and downtown development.

5NEWS is a proud sponsor of the Peacemaker Festival.

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