Last year when Hopkinsville recreation officials had to cancel the fifth annual Summer Salute because of the coronavirus pandemic, they promised that the downtown festival would be back “bigger and better than ever in 2021.”
On Tuesday, organizers announced that Grammy Award-winning country musician Travis Tritt will headline the festival’s main concert at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 28, in front of the Christian County Justice Center.
Tritt’s string of hit songs include “Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde,” “It’s a Great Day to be Alive” and “Here’s a Quarter.”
“Hopkinsville’s biggest party of the summer is returning in a big way, and we could not be more excited to welcome Travis Tritt to Hoptown this August,” Hopkinsville Parks and Recreation Superintendent Tab Brockman said in a news release. “During his illustrious career, Mr. Tritt has become of the icons of country music and we have no doubt he will put on the biggest show in the history of Summer Salute.”
The two-day festival begins Friday, Aug. 27. The Jimmy Church Band, a rock and funk group, will play on opening night concert at Founders Square. Church, who is 82 years old, has played many events in Hopkinsville going back at least three decades and has many fans in the community.
Although Gov. Andy Beshear plans to lift most of the state’s coronavirus restrictions on June 11, the city’s Summer Salute website includes a section on COVID-19 safety measures.
“The biggest way to make the 2021 Summer Salute enjoyable for everyone is to practice social distancing with guests outside your family, wear a mask when it is practical, use available sanitation stations, and respect everyone’s right to their own personal COVID safety preferences at the festival,” the website states. “We will update more specific safety recommendations as the summer rolls on and the time for the fifth annual Hoptown Summer Salute gets closer.”
Summer Salute was launched in 2016 to replace Little River Days and in preparation for the Great American Eclipse, with Hopkinsville at its epicenter, the following year. Along with the live music, traditionally there are dozens of food trucks and vendor booths, and children’s carnival rides.
Vendors who want to rent booth space at this year’s festival can find applications online.