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RITA — An event that has been well over a year in the making will finally take place at the Appalachian Outpost at the old Rita Mall this Saturday.

Known as the “Summer Shindig,” the event will kick off at 5:30 p.m. Saturday with DJ Nick Scott, followed by country music group the Davisson Brothers from 6:30-7:30 p.m. The evening will culminate with a concert by country music artist Craig Morgan, known nationally for hits like “That’s What I Love About Sunday” and “Redneck Yacht Club.”

Local businesswoman and Logan County Commissioner Diana Barnette, owner of the Appalachian Outpost, describes the event as being like a festival of sorts. In addition to the music acts, the evening will also include food, drink and Hawaiian (shaved) ice vendors, T-shirt and other booths, the West Virginia National Guard Humvee, WV Tourism’s Airstream, and a small car show.

The event was originally scheduled to take place one year ago on Saturday, July 25, 2020, with the intentions of being the official grand opening for the Outpost. However, the height of the COVID-19 pandemic at the time prevented that, so she decided to postpone the event for this year.

After this Saturday’s inaugural event, Barnette said she plans to host the “Summer Shindig” every year on the last Saturday in July.

“We were supposed to have this in 2020, but because of COVID, we were unable to have it,” Barnette said. “I wanted to have it for my grand opening. I wanted to make a big splash and the Summer Shindig is something we’re going to have every year. It’ll be like Dirt Days or Trailfest. On the last Saturday in July of every year, I want to have the Summer Shindig.”

Barnette said she is expecting up to 5,000 people to show up to the event.

Admission is free and off-site parking will be provided at the old Taplin Airport. A shuttle bus will provide transportation from that site to the Outpost. Handicap parking will be provided on-site at the Outpost.

HD Media news reporter Dylan Vidovich can be contacted via email at dvidovich@HDMediaLLC.com.

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