Some keys to a safer Stampede

By Jelani Yancey

The word “stampede” doesn’t usually go hand-in-hand with the word “safety,” but the latter word will be the key to a good time at Country Stampede this weekend.

Larry Couchman, Riley County EMS director, spoke about precautionary measures at the Riley County Commission meeting Monday.

Country Stampede, in its 17th year, is the biggest annual music festival in Kansas, drawing about 40,000 per night for its four-night run last year. It begins Thursday and runs through Sunday at Tuttle Creek State Park including headliner Toby Keith at 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

“It can be a very safe event if you prepare and plan accordingly,” he said. Couchman’s recommendations included staying hydrated, moderation with alcohol, apply sunblock, getting out of the sun when possible, and a friendly reminder to wear clothing.

“The festival is known for some individuals that try to get a year’s worth of suntan in a four-day event,” he said. Couchman said wearing the proper shoes and a hat is important.

Another annual celebration is coming up July 4. Of course, Independence Day has hundreds of millions of people celebrating across the nation and has been around significantly longer than Stampede. Commissioners also reviewed regulations regarding the sale of fireworks for that event Monday.

An organization, business or person looking to sell fireworks for the Fourth of July in Riley County (outside of any incorporated city) has until 5 p.m. Monday, June 25 to complete the permit application and pay the $25 permit fee, which is not refundable.

Sales of fireworks are allowed in Riley County from 8 a.m. July 1 through midnight July 4. The sale of bottle rockets in Kansas is illegal.

The permit can be obtained at the Riley County Fire District #1 Office, 115 N. 4th Street.

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