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Summer Slam organizer reports record crowd
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After roughly 15,000 people packed Salter’s Field on Sunday for the annual Summer Slam celebration, organizer Ernie Walthour declared the crowd the biggest he’s seen in the event’s 20-year history.
“It was the biggest amount I’ve ever seen,” Walthour said. “Thousands packed Salter’s Field to support the event. Folks came from all over and I’ve never seen this many people in my life.”
The organizer said he’s received several calls from attendees who said they had a wonderful time and already are looking forward to next year.
Summer Slam started two decades ago as an outdoor event showcasing 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 basketball competitions. Throughout the years, however, stifling outdoor temperatures and changing interests slowly morphed the event into a venue for car audio contests, a car and truck show and a place for local musicians to showcase their talents.
Many local Liberty County artists — and some from as far away as Atlanta —hit the sound stage as spectators bounced to the beats and danced late into the evening.
Walthour said the only thing missing was a professional fireworks display.
“I tell you what, we didn’t have that planned for this year,” he said. “A lot of folks brought their own fireworks they had purchased from the stores and had their own little displays to light up our Summer Slam. But it is definitely something we may look into as we plan for next year.”
Walthour said the event was possible thanks to sponsors Hinesville Ford, M&M Motors, the St. James Sports Center and Osteen and Osteen Law Firm.
“We also had additional support from the Liberty County Recreation Department and of course the sheriff’s office,” the coordinator said.
Walthour, who said he was pleased they had no incidents despite the record crowd, praised the community for its support and the attendees who came out and enjoyed food, music and contests.
“We are already planning and looking ahead to next year,” he said.

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