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Crashing the party

Greater Crater Days are back in Manson

-Photo courtesy of TFC Photography
Nashville Artist, Travis Denning entertains the crowd during the 2019 Crash My Crater concert. The concert is back after having to be canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MANSON – The Calhoun County town of Manson is putting out the welcome mat next weekend for their annual Manson Greater Crater Days.

Scheduled to begin Friday, June 25 through June 26 the Manson Greater Crater Days promises to have something for everyone to enjoy.

The events kick off at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 25 with a cookout at Heartland Bank.

Polish up on those spelling words and enter the old-fashioned spelling bee which will also begin at 4 p.m. outside of the library. This contest is open to first graders through adults.

At 5:30 p.m. it will be time for the animals to strut their stuff in the pet parade. Starting just north of the stoplight on Main Street by State of the Art, you are encouraged to dress your favorite pet to coordinate with the patriotic theme of the event. First, second and third place prizes will be awarded.

-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson
Jesse Grossnickle has been working for most of the year organizing this year's Crash My Crater concert that will be held Saturday in front of the Shore Side Pub and Grub on Manson's Main Street. Performing as headliners for the night will be Nashville artists Niko Moon and Jameson Rodgers.

That patriotic theme carries over to the parade which will begin at 6 p.m. and travels down Main Street to the fairgrounds where truck and semi pulls start at 7 p.m.

Activities will be held on Saturday, June 26, on Main Street between 9th and 11th Avenues. Fun will include a horse shoe tournament, a food court and a slew of activities from noon to 4 p.m. including a dunk tank, foam machine, sumo wrestling suits, mega pong, connect four, bingo and more.

There will also be a car show and DJ from noon to 4 p.m.

“There are tons of family things to do,” said Jesse Grossnickle who not only serves on the city council for the town of Manson, but has been the event coordinator for the concert planned for Saturday night: Crash My Crater.

Crash My Crater

-Photo courtesy of TFC Photography Azy Felix listens intensely during the 2019 Crash My Crater concert. This year's concert will be held Saturday.

Crash My Crater is an outdoor concert event that took the place of the annual Saturday night street dance that was typically held during the Manson Greater Crater Day weekend.

Grossnickle said when he was approached about taking the event over, he jumped at the opportunity.

“We had this vision to bring up and coming Nashville musicians to Manson, Iowa,” he said.

The concert will be held Saturday, June 26 outside of the Shore Side Pub and Grub on Manson’s Main Street.

Tickets are $25 in advance or $30 the day of the show. Tickets are available at the Shore Side Pub and Grub in Manson; Hy-Vee Grocery Store in Fort Dodge or by visiting www.crashmycrater2021.eventbrite.com.

Gates for the show open at 4 p.m.

Artists performing this year, Grossnickle said are Jameson Rodgers and Niko Moon; including two local acts that will open up the show, Cory Waller and the Wicked Things and Scott Kirkhart.

Niko Moon, Grossnickle explained is a country/pop artist, while Jameson Rodgers performs more on the traditional lines of country music.

“We have a good variety with that,” he said. “The cool thing is that both of these guys are up and coming super stars.”

Both of their debut singles have gone No. 1 on the Country Billboard charts and their second release singles are already in the top 20.

Songs some may be familiar with are “Good Time” from Niko Moon and Jameson Rodgers’ “Some Girls.”

Rodgers, Grossnickle said also has a new single out with Luke Combs titled “Cold Beer Calling My Name.”

“They just have lots of momentum and firing back up after Covid,” said Grossnickle.

And the performers aren’t the only ones excited to be back after a long year dealing with a pandemic.

“We are ready to be back,” said Grossnickle. “I just like to see people happy. I have been in the restaurant industry my whole life. My thing is entertaining people, so last year was a huge burden on us just because we couldn’t do that. We are back and we are better than we were and ever have been with the talent coming in here.”

Grossnickle said he works on the event for eight months each year – working with agencies in Nashville, but recognizes he could not do this alone.

“All of that work I do doesn’t happen unless we have people that support it,” he said. “We are very thankful and appreciative to our sponsors.”

Premier sponsors for the event are Storm Lake Honda and R&J Material Handling.

This year is the 149th birthday of Manson – Grossnickle said they are looking forward to celebrating their town every year, but it will be extra special with a 150 year celebration next year.

“As a kid that grew up in Manson, and was part of the Manson Greater Crater Day festivities as a little kid – that was the thing you looked forward to every year – going to the celebration and being a part of it,” he said. “My ultimate goal was to make sure I was bringing people to town that aren’t just from Manson to see how great Manson is.”

He said he has taken that goal to a new level. Ticket sales for the Crash My Crater concert include all of the surrounding states and so far as far as Alabama.

“It is a neat thing to be able to show off our town and bring people in to see what Manson’s all about,” he said.

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