It was a sweltering, 100-plus degrees, but that didn’t stop people from enjoying the annual Summer Slam Sunday at Salter’s Field.
This year, Summer Slam producer Ernie Walthour got things started early, offering a carnival that opened Thursday and ran through Sunday’s main event.
“And we will do our best to bring the carnival back again next year,” he said. “Families, especially military families, really enjoyed the carnival with their children.”
Sunday the crowd started rolling in as the gates opened at 1 p.m.
Auto enthusiasts lined up as a parade of tricked-out cars made their way onto Salter’s Field for a car show. Before the musicians entertained the crowd, folks got an earful of music from car stereos as they competed to see who had the loudest sound system during a decibel drag-race.
And as the sun faded the crowd was treated to a concert featuring local musicians. People danced through the night until a thunderstorm began.
Walthour said it was a success.
“We got a large crowd, probably one of the largest crowds we’ve ever had,” he said. “It was also the biggest car show we’ve had.”
Walthour thanked his sponsors, which included Hinesville Ford, M&M Motors, Osteen and Osteen Law Firm, Domino’s Pizza, Liberty County Bonding, St. James Sports Center and Church and Linda Shumm.
Walthour added he was especially grateful to the man who has opened his land every year for the event.
“Mr. Jerry Salter is a very kind and generous guy and is involved in helping people whenever he can,” Walthour said. “We dedicated this year’s Summer Slam to him.”
Walthour said he was also indebted to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Steve Sikes for their service. He said they kept the traffic flowing and kept the crowd safe and orderly.
Summer Slam originally started as a 3-on-3 basketball tournament. This year, Walthour’s Coastal Crew Rebels basketball teams used it for a fundraiser as they head to AAU National tournament in Orlando next week.
“We will be in Orlando for a whole week during the tournament,” Walthour said.