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Oregon Trail Days concert realizes big success
July 12, 2012 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Photo by Phillip Eckerberg - for the Citizen
The Casey Donahew Band entertains a crowd Saturday, which numbered close to 2000 people. Members of the band include drummer Taz, keyboardist A.C. Aaron Copeland, fiddler Josh Moore, bass guitarist Steve Stone, guitarist J.J. Soto and lead singer Casey Donahue.


With the goal of giving the traditional Oregon Trail Days concert a boost as a kick-off the weekend before the festival gets underway, the committee moved the concert up a week so as not to compete against the offerings by local beer gardens. The gamble seems to have paid off. Having a great band and great weather also contributed to a big success for the concert the night of July 7.
Concert committee chair Bill Peters said a crowd of about 1,800 people packed Five Rocks Amphitheater south of Gering to hear the Casey Donahew Band. The up-and-coming group also features lead guitarist J.J. Soto, son of Larry Soto of the Drivin’ Dynamics.

“People looked like they were having a great time and the band was well-received,” Peters said. “People were standing up, sitting on the berm and on the sides. We were really pleased with the turnout.”
The weather also cooperated for the concert as the band was able to finish the entire show before the area got some needed rain.
Peters said they were also helped by breaking with tradition and scheduling the Oregon Trail Days main concert the week prior to the main event. “When the committee meets next, we’ll definitely consider continuing this kickoff event. It was a big success for us.”
Peters added he received numerous comments from concert goers who were very happy with both the band and the timing.

“It was either a great idea to change the date, book a super band with a local connection, or have cooperative weather,” Peters said. “Maybe it was a combination of all those things. Either way, it’s a great start for this year’s Oregon Trail Days.”
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