Havasu Palooza

The second annual Havasu Palooza is set for Saturday.

Although Labor Day has come and gone there are still a few days left of summer and the Havasu River Rats are hoping to wrap up the season with a bang on Saturday at the second annual Havasu Palooza.

“We just wanted to stretch out the summer,” said event organizer Mark Kirkland. “It is the last summer event of the year here before we go into fall.”

Although the event will mark the end of the summer in Lake Havasu City, it marks the beginning of Havasu’s event season. There is lots more coming this fall, starting with the annual Octoberfest Pineapple Race at London Bridge Beach on Oct. 3. The IJSBA World Finals will be back at Crazy Horse Campgrounds Oct. 5-13 as the Tribal Vibes Reggae Fest hits Havasu Landing on Oct. 12. London Bridge Resort will host the annual Relics & Rods Run to the Sun Oct. 16-20 followed by the London Bridge Days Parade Oct. 26 and the Duck Derby Races Oct. 27

Havasu Palooza is a country music festival on the waters - one of only two true lake concerts in the entire country according to Go Lake Havasu. The concert stage will be set up in Thompson Bay, off the shoreline of Rotary Park at 1400 S Smoketree Avenue. The event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. with Matt Farris, Brad Johnson, Drew Cooper and Joel Maze Southern Country Band all scheduled to perform.

“It is a community, family event. We just wanted to give the boating community an experience with good family vibes,” said event organizer Mark Kirkland. “Labor Day is more of a party weekend, I guess you could say, for the boating community. This is more of a family event.”

Kirkland said the inaugural event brought out even more people than the Havasu River Rats anticipated. Although there is a bit of a learning curve with any new event, something as unique as a concert on water provided plenty of lessons for organizers.

“We got great feedback,” Kirkland said. “Overall it was a big thumbs up. It isn’t everybody’s thing, but about 95 percent of the comments were positive. We are looking to grow the event, learn from the first year, and we are going to learn again this year. Hopefully in the third year we will have everything perfect, and with that we will be able to bring in bigger artists. Our end goal is to be able to bring in an A list or B list musician who everybody knows to get the crowd going.”

Havasu Palooza will use a new production company this year, along with a new sound system after some troubles at last year’s event. Organizers have also doubled the patrol boats, moved the ticket booths to land, and shifted the venue to Rotary Park for more room for land-based concert goers.

“There are a lot of changes this year,” Kirkland said. “We are putting on a bigger production of manpower and resources throughout the whole event.”

General admission for Havasu Palooza will be $30. Tickets can be pre-purchased online at Havasu-Palooza.com. There will be additional fees for boaters who wish to reserve a moor in the first four rows.

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