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Country Thunder officially kicks off Thursday
Published Wednesday, July 12, 2017 6:31PM CST
Like every year, Barb Dedi was first in line to get into Country Thunder music festival in Craven.
Dedi made it through at 9:01 a.m. Tuesday, one minute after the gates officially opened.
Her campsite, like her timing, is also a big tradition at the festival.
“We've married people here, people have gotten engaged, and people use it to find their way home at night,” Dedi said while taking a break from her setup efforts.
Dedi, along with her aunt and husband, will be putting the final touches on the site until Thursday night, when the festival officially kicks off.
According to organizers, most campers will arrive Thursday to set up their sites.
It’s the first year for the festival under the Country Thunder ownership, but many of the administrative heads of the show are the same team that presented the Saskatchewan the Craven Country Jamboree.
Gerry Krochak, marketing and media relations manager for Country Thunder, said fans can expect a familiar scene, but with some upgrades.
“Saskatchewan is special for everyone on this team, most of us are from Saskatchewan so we wanted it to be more than just a name change and that's why we have the 1.2 million dollar renovation,” Krochak said.
Those renovations include grass on the main concourse, new bathrooms, and paving the festival’s “main street”, a place for food and retail vendors.
Main Street is also home to new food vendors this year, and the beer gardens have an upgraded stage.
Dedi said she’s happy to see the upgrades, but added more about the community created by the music.
And with a capacity for 23,000 fans, that country community becomes Saskatchewan’s fifth biggest city for the weekend.