Familiar Faces, Sunshine Close Jamboree

MORRISTOWN – Neal McCoy has played the Jamboree In The Hills stage 18 times – 17 of them consecutively.

McCoy, though, wasn’t the only familiar face on the JITH stage as he helped close down the 38th annual event Sunday.

Late in McCoy’s set, he was joined by 13-year-old Spencer Lay of Shadyside, a friend McCoy made during last year’s JITH performance. Lay was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease that resulted in birth defects and developmental delays. He has undergone more than 30 surgeries in his short life. Last year, Lay was able to meet McCoy – his favorite artist – and spend time on the stage.

On Sunday, Lay was back, complete with a large American flag that he and McCoy proudly displayed last year. The duo held it up while the crowd roared, and Lay took several bows before leaving the stage.

McCoy’s performance was complete with all of the usual tricks, as he climbed the speaker tower, was “baptized” in a cooler of cold water and ran around every inch of stage – and beyond.

It was a fitting end to what was a relatively cool and quiet weekend. According to Staci Trudo, vice president of quality at OVMC, officials in the medical tent treated 327 individuals through Saturday. Though there was a lack of heat, Trudo said the staff still dealt with a number of different ailments.

“We’ve had a lot of cuts and scrapes, and actually a lot of chest pain and other medical issues,” she said.

Because of the cool temperatures, concert-goers were becoming intoxicated faster because they were not sweating, Trudo said.

She said that led not only to the usual alcohol-related cases, but also more injuries from fights and other altercations.

“We’ve treated a few people who deputies brought to us,” she said, adding the tent got busier as the days progressed.

After three days of overcast weather, the sun finally made an appearance Sunday. In addition to McCoy, acts included Jason Michael Carroll, Borrowed Blue, Joe Diffie, Diamond Rio and headliner Montgomery Gentry.