One of Mississippi's largest festivals is set to begin in Grenada, Mississippi on June 9. The 18th annual Thunder on the Water makes a splash with a carnival on Wednesday and Thursday followed by a hurricane of events that run through June 13. The festival began as a way to promote safe boating and at one time included boat racing. In the ensuing years, the marine racing ran aground, however, the promotion of boating safety continues to this day. Last year over 113,000 people attended the event, according to event organizer and committee chairperson, Wanda Roche. "We have promoted this year's event very heavily and are expecting an even bigger crowd this year", Roche said. Roche, who has been on the festival committee for all 18 of the event's years, helped to co-found the event with Jeff Plummer along with the generous support of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
This year's event has more activities than ever before. Some of the scheduled events include the midway show, arts & crafts, 5 mile run/ 3 mile walk, a professional rodeo by JBarB Rodeo, professional wrestling, helicopter rides, Crossroads Cruiser car and motorcycle show, a fishing rodeo and tournament, tractor pull, a world-class fireworks exhibition by Pyrotecnico, a youth beauty pageant, blues and country concerts performed by nationally recognized stars, and of course plenty of great food to eat.
The concerts include some popular blues acts that include Blue Mother Tupelo, Narvell, Reba Russell Band, and Lucious Spiller, all playing on Friday evening, the 11th. Then on the evening of Saturday, the 12th, country music aficionados get to enjoy the likes of Jordyn Mallory, Busted Screen Door, Colt Ford, Cuter Brown, LoCash Cowboys, and Matt Stillwell. Gospel concerts will follow on Sunday in the Praise on the Water concert.
Maximum Championship Wrestling is promoting the wrestling event to be held on Saturday, the 12th. Several nationally-famous wrestlers such as Dirty Dutch Mantell, Lord Humongous, Max Steel, and the Giant Hillbilly will be in town looking for a fight. Organizer Joe Carter is calling this "Mississippi Wrestlemania" while promoter Hollywood Jimmy Blayblock says there will be a few surprise guests coming down that everyone will know. Past competitors have included stars like Jerry Lawler and Bill Dundee.
Additionally, the ABATE club of Mississippi will be rolling into Grenada with over 100 motorcycles to display at the car show. The American Bikers Active Toward Education organization has chapters all over the country and are especially active in giving to charities in communities across the nation.
For more information, go to www.thunderonwater.net.