That’s a Wrap: Another Jamboree In The Hills in the History Books

Photo by Miranda Sebroski From left, Russell Drewry, Henry Williams and Don Martin attend the last day of Jamboree In The Hills on Sunday.

MORRISTOWN — Jamboree In The Hills wrapped up its 42nd year on Sunday with acts such as Neal McCoy, John Coulee, Diamond Rio, Joe Diffie and the Kentucky Headhunters taking the stage.

Also known as “Jambo,” the annual four-day event features some of the biggest names in country music and is a summer tradition for many people. The concert is also considered to be the biggest country music festival in the United States.

But the appeal of Jambo is about more than just the music. It’s a place where friends meet each year, and there are a variety of activities to suit many tastes. Jamboree In The Hills also has inflatable bull riding, a giveaway for a custom Jamboree guitar, food vendors and merchandise stands. When the music is over for the day, many go to the campgrounds for after-hours concerts and parties.

Despite the festival experiencing some rain on Sunday, those in attendance were seen dancing with friends and singing along with the artists who were playing. Many also sported patriotic attire, such as large Uncle Sam hats, American flag shirts and dye for their hair making it red, white and blue.

Russell Drewry, from Martinsburg, W.Va., has been visiting Jamboree In The Hills with his friends Henry Williams and Don Martin for eight years. He said he stays for five days during the event.

“We always have a good time here,” Drewry said. “It’s nice to just kick back and listen to the music.”

While Drewry said he has fun at JITH, he believes it has become smaller compared to previous years.

“We love it, but it does seem like there has been less people,” Drewry said. “I don’t know what it is.”

Cyndy Butera, nurse manager at Ohio Valley Medical Center, worked in the medical tent at Jamboree and said there were a lot less injuries during the festival’s 42nd year than in years past.

“It wasn’t too bad this year. It was a lot slower than it normally was,” Butera said of traffic at the medical tent. “I think it was because of the weather. It hasn’t been too hot or anything. There were a few minor injuries, and we sent a few (to hospitals) for various reasons, like cardiac reasons.

“The last two years have been a little slower, though, just because it hasn’t been as hot,” she continued. “The worst injury we probably had were just head injuries.”

Kitty Jo Paboucek, Belmont County Sheriff Department’s fiscal officer, worked at the law enforcement command post during Jamboree this year and said there were no arrests on site that were festival related.

“We have never had zero arrests for the festival,” Paboucek said. “I mean, we have had to cut a few bands from people, but there really just was not anything too crazy this year.”


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