Beautiful weather, great free entertainment, and a city wanting to check out all the improvements along the riverfront in downtown Sioux Falls combined for a huge turnout for the first ever  Downtown Riverfest, presented by Downtown Sioux Falls Inc.

With a new event, you literally have no idea how many people will attend or IF they will attend at all. I know organizers were keeping their fingers crossed that we might get to 5000 attendees Saturday night. I left a much wider guess when I told them we'd get somewhere between 100 of us and 10,000. While no 'official' count has been released by DTSF, I'm ballparking attendance at about 8000. THANK YOU for coming out and supporting this wonderful new event for Sioux Falls!

Music on the Great Western Bank stage began at 5:30pm with two-time South Dakota Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Jim Groth.

Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7)

Groth did a combination of original songs mixed in with Beatles and Bob Marley covers. Groth was followed by Minneapolis musician Cole Allen, who is making a name for himself on the blues scene both as a solo artist and as a member of the Sena Ehrhardt Band. Sena was a surprise guest at the festival and shared the stage with Allen on a couple of songs. Allen also mixed his set between originals and covers of Allman Brothers, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jonny Lang.

Photo courtesy of Crash/B102.7
Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7

Riverfest stretched along a three block area of the Riverfront and included several art exhibits, face painting for the kids, raffles, food & beverage, and Condor performing on the second stage.

Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7

Sioux Falls rock band Peace by Revenge closed the entertainment for the evening with an expanded band of eight and impressed the crowd with a set dominated by originals that had people on their feet and swaying to the beat. Really talented young musicians that you should check out when you get the chance.

Photo Courtesy of Crash/B102.7

A huge thank you to all of the event organizers for having the vision for this new festival and for all their hard work in getting it off the ground. And thank you to all of the sponsors who jumped on board without knowing how the event would come off. I spoke to several of the organizers and talks had already started on plans for Riverfest 2014 and how it can be improved from an already great event. Thank you again to everyone who attended the first ever Downtown Riverfest!