MOVED

Old Dominion performs during the 2017 Kicker Country Stampede. The festival has been moved to Topeka this year because of flooding at Tuttle Creek Lake. Old Dominion, Jason Aldean and Jake Owen will headline this year’s event.

Country Stampede is making Topeka its permanent home, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported Wednesday.

The annual country music festival, which for 23 years has been held at Tuttle Creek State Park near Manhattan, was moved to Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka this year because of flooding and safety concerns at Tuttle Creek Lake.

Country Stampede president and founder Wayne Rouse told The Mercury he couldn’t comment on the move, and he declined to confirm or deny it. He said May 31 that it would be a temporary move.

Loud Mouth Entertainment announced in a press release Wednesday morning that Topeka mayor Michelle De La Isla, Heartland Motorsports Park owner Chris Payne and Visit Topeka president Brett Oetting “will make a major announcement concerning the City of Topeka, Heartland Motorsports Park and Country Stampede Music Festival" during a news conference at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Sources have confirmed to The Capital-Journal the announcement is that the Stampede will be making a permanent move to Heartland, a racing facility that opened in 1989 at 7530 S.W. Topeka Blvd.

Organizers estimated the Stampede has had an $8 million annual impact on the Manhattan economy.

Mike Bell, vice president of sales for Visit Topeka, said the Country Stampede being in Topeka presents a unique opportunity for Topeka businesses and restaurants.

“I think several sectors of our businesses are going to be excited — hotels, restaurants, camping supply areas, pharmacies for sunscreen,” Bell said May 12. “I think everybody would be happy.”

This week’s Kicker Country Stampede will feature some of country music’s biggest names, including Jason Aldean, Old Dominion, Jake Owen and Clint Black. The Stampede has 50 country acts scheduled on multiple stages.

Manhattan officials, meanwhile, including mayor Mike Dodson and Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau director Karen Hibbard, told The Mercury they didn’t know anything about the announcement.

Country Stampede is in a multi-year contract with Tuttle Creek State Park, Kansas parks officials confirmed Wednesday morning. They declined to give any other details of the contract and told The Mercury they didn’t know anything about the move.