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Lightning storm swamps music festival, but bands play on

Lightning during music festival split this tree along 8th Street adjacent to Granary District
Lightning during music festival split this tree along 8th Street adjacent to Granary District

Aug 11, 2013 | 3 Comments | has video

The News-Register staff

(News-Register Staff)  A torrential downpour accompanied by lightning strikes and rumbling thunder claps closed the outdoor show at the first Walnut City Music Festival Saturday evening at the Granary District in McMinnville.

The thunder and lightning rolled right over the festival grounds while The Hill Dogs delivered a passionate, and awe-inspiring duet with Mother Nature.

The drenching shut down the sound system, but the next band on the bill, Lincoln's Beard set up sans microphones in the partially completed Grain Station brewery and kept the party going. Tony Smiley, "The Loop Ninja," arrived with his sound system and the music continued as scheduled to a smaller but energetic crowd. A roucous dance party occured suring the set by headliners The Builders and The Butchers.

Evetn organizer Ossie Bladine, while disappointed in the outcome of an unexpected thunder storm, said it was an experience that few in attendance will forget.

"To say the music festival got off to a bang would be an understatement," he said.

After the storm subsided, Bladine and others found that a tree adjacent to the Granary District had been hit by lightning and split in two.

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05:50 am - Mon, August 12 2013
Jlarsen said:
There also was a large event at Michelbook Country Club with tables all set and ready to go that had to move inside because of the quick moving storm.
09:21 am - Mon, August 12 2013
Ebbie said:
I grew up in the Willamette Valley and don't recall a lightning storm of that intensity, EVER.
02:38 pm - Tue, August 13 2013
Don Dix said:
I also grew up here, Ebbie, but I can recall several violent T-storms. One scattered the crowd @ the Fireman's Dance back in the late 80s.

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