If there ever was a time for cut-off jean shorts, bikini tops and cowboy hats, it was Sunday at the A Day in the Country music festival at Augusta’s Riverfront Marina.
Thousands gathered at the river’s edge in lawn chairs for an all-day country music lineup including Tracy Lawrence, Jerrod Niemann, Ashton Shepherd and North Augusta native Carey Murdock.
North Augustans Pat and Jason Wells said they came out to see Murdock.
“We want to support him,” Jason Wells said. “He’s a good kid and we want to see him go far.”
The show, which started at noon and finished around 7 p.m., was also seen by hundreds from boats that pulled up on the Savannah River.
Friends Jenny Mack and Meredith Queens from Savannah were in town for the show. An Augusta friend lends them a boat for the event every year.
“We pulled up around 10 this morning and locked in this spot,” Queens said. “We’re pros now. We’ve been doing this for years.”
Mack and Queens tied up their boat to three others, all of whose occupants they had just met Sunday.
“They had beer,” Mack said, pointing to one of the attached boats. “And these guys had burgers. We picked them carefully.”
The Department of Natural Resources had officers on hand in case boaters had too much to drink.
Cpl. Ben Payne said they do not have any problems until about 6 p.m. when everyone tries to leave at once, when they typically end up arresting a few people for boating under the influence.
Around the perimeter, food trucks were lined up and retail tents sold cowboy hats and other clothing.
Ann and Gary Lindsey, of Atlanta, had spent the weekend in Augusta and were excited to end their weekend listening to Gary’s idol, Tracy Lawrence.
“I do a little singing,” he said. “Tracy is my influence. He’s all country.”
As country music fans swayed in the crowd around her, singer Ashton Shepherd looked out from the stage.
“Y’all are here to have a good time today, I can tell,” she said. “I love country music.”