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Summer slam slams heat and boredom

POSTED: July 6, 2007 5:02 a.m.
Spinners, 28-inch rims, motorcycles, the bump in the trunk, pipes ringing, basketball, softball, Lowcountry boil and much more will be seen, heard, tasted, felt and smelled next weekend as the 17th edition of Summer Slam starts.
All of the events make Summer Slam hard to categorize, but no matter how it’s defined, St. James Sports Director Ernie Walthour Sr.’s annual premier event is here.
Summer Slam 2007 starts next Saturday at Miller Park.
“We’re real excited and ready for it,” Walthour said. “This is something the people in the county look forward to. There are a lot of different events that people want and it’s something we’re trying to provide.”
While Walthour enjoys having a good time and allowing others the same, he also understands the importance of safety. That’s why he has coordinated with the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department to handle the parking and other safety measures.
“Putting on a big event like this, you really want to have the sheriff’s department involved and have professionals handle the safety,” Walthour said. “Definitely, safety is our number one concern when putting on an event his big.”
Approximately, 25,000 people experienced Summer Slam last year and Walthour estimates more than 30,000 people will show this summer, including several folks from outside the area.
“It should be a big crowd,” he said. “I’ve had a lot of people calling, especially out of state, wanting information.”
Walthour is grateful but also is still in a little disbelief that what started out as a basketball tournament in 1986 has evolved into such a huge event.
“There’s been a lot of hard work behind the last 17 years putting this together,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of good people involved with helping us and making it bigger and better and I’d like to thank them.”
Walthour credits the Liberty County Sheriff’s Department, Liberty County Recreation Department, St. James Sports Center, Fred Mingledorff, Jamie Barnard, Osteen and Osteen Law Firm and M&M Motors, among others, for helping make Summer Slam what it is.
“This is a community event and the community is what it’s all about,” Walthour said. “I’d like for everyone to come out and have a good time like we always do.”
June 30 is billed as Kids Day and is held at Miller Park on Hwy. 84 in Midway. Admission and events are free.
The day features softball, basketball, face painting, water slides, Lowcountry boil provided by Jeff’s Crab House and Shrimp Shack II/Bobo’s Seafood, games, prizes, bingo and more.
The festive day concludes with a motorcycle show at 6:30 p.m.
July 1 is the main event and is held at Salter Field on Hwy. 84, near Highway 196.
Admission is $5 and the gates open at 2 p.m.
The day features a car show, car audio show, truck show, best of show and a rim contest.
The hard-hitting day concludes with a live concert featuring DJ L. Boogie.
Walthour said it takes six months to prepare and produce Summer Slam.
Like all big bashes, there has to be a pre-party and Summer Slam is no exception.
There will be a live concert featuring several local entertainers Friday night at the SkyBox in Midway.
Admission is $5 and is restricted to adults 21 and older.
Some of the acts include C-Killa, 380 Ent., Killa Shaq and Dirty Dollar with the Carter Thugs.
The doors open at 9 p.m., with the music starting at 10:30 with Da Gyrl from the South performing. The concert closes with Milkk Man.
Schedule:
June 30: softball tournament, 10 a.m. 3-on-3 basketball, 3 p.m. 5-on-5 basketball, 4. kids shoot for prizes, 4:30. Lowcountry boil, 5:30. motorcycle show, 6:30.
July 1: music contest, 3 p.m., car show, truck show, best of show and rim contest, 4. live concert, 5:30.
For more information, call Ernie Walthour at 884-3016.
 

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