I got up in the morning to the sound of rain hitting the roof, but stayed positive and was hoping for some sun. I rounded up the tools and then my buddy swung over and off we went, right into a fantastic rainstorm that stuck with us all the way down to Fond du lac. We were lucky enough to have been able to drop off the barge the night before at the Fond du lac Yacht club. They were kind enough to help us out with launching and giving us room for the barge and a trail boat. We got the boat down to the launch and one of the gentlemen from the Yacht Club had about an 18ft Whaler to help us pull the old barge out to the park. My friends Brett and Neal were also along and waiting for us out in the bay with Brett's RIB boat that he uses for his business – Oshkosh Dock and Lift. They helped us pull out the second barge.
As we made it out to Roosevelt Park we were lucky enough to have Brett, Neal, and 6 guys from the Navy Club to help us to start setting up. We got the new front deck set up, and the main floor put on the new steel frame drum riser made up by Manowske Welding. Thank goodness we had people to get that bad boy up. Pushing 170 lbs over your head in the water gets interesting fast. As we were getting the floorboards and decking on the drum stage our first performer for the day, Mr. Pat Pederson, showed up. Brett and Neal took the RIB boat over and loaded up speakers, equipment, and Pat out to the barge. Pat set up his speaker system, we hooked up the generator and the show got started for the day. Not too many boats at this point. We believe the weather scared a lot of people away.
We set Pat on the new front stage so we would be able to get Generation Z's equipment on while Pat was playing. At this point, the weather was actually pretty nice. Just a little overcast and the rain was gone. Within an hour I got a call from Trevor Wolf that he was ready to bring out his sound system for Generation Z. We decided to try and take the second barge over to speed things up which worked out very well. We got all the sound equipment on and brought it over to start the process. Trevor, and Matt from Making Memories Entertainment, and Kathy Wolf and Sons, set up the speakers and dialed in the sound for Sam Guyton and Generation Z.
Pat gave us a hell of a great performance! He was funny as usual which made the 2-hour playtime go extremely fast. The guys from Generation Z showed up and we pulled them over to the Barge and they got the show rocking. These guys put on one hell of a great show. Always entertaining through their entire show. They sounded fantastic and the sound system was strong. The sound mixing master, Trevor Wolf, tuned things in super tight. It truly is amazing how he can make adjustments to the soundboard and get the sound perfect. Gen Z played for about 3 hours and we wished we could have kept them longer.
But we still had one more act to come out and tear things up. Cheese Stick Thunder gave me a call and said they were ready to come out. We did the switch out with the bands and unfortunately, we had to take down speakers to do a full set change. This took about an hour of work to get things ready. We lost some of our crowd but still had a great audience that was waiting for the Thunder to play. They did a great set for about two and a half hours which took past our 7 pm shut down and closer to 8 pm. Overall the day turned out to be fantastic! I believe at least around here we are the first barge party to have a 3 band show on the water, and all the work that we did on the barge was well worth the blood, sweat, and tears.
We started tearing down and Jeff took the 2nd barge back to the yacht club for us. Unfortunately for tear down, it was Casey, my daughter, Eva, our friend MaKenzie, and myself. Tear down started off pretty good until we had to pull out the big augers. I had the shaft snap and the pipe came out but the 12” auger was still stuck in the sand. After about 30 minutes of foot digging and prying with a piece of conduit, I got it out. It was not a fun job in the dark. We tied up to Brett's RIB boat and got the barge back to the launch. Everything went pretty well for doing it in the dark. We got back home at around 1 am. Thank goodness we were able to leave the boats overnight. Not sure we would have made it otherwise. The next morning we went down and cleaned up, strapped everything down, and got the boats back after about 3 hours. It is a lot of work and we did many great updates this year including the 2 additional stages and new dual axles. But it sure was a lot of fun! We really hope you all had a blast! Thanks again to all of our sponsors! If it was not for them we would have never been able to pull this off. So please take out some time and show them some love. Our core sponsor was 5G Benefits. They really stepped up with a donation as well as providing insurance for the event. Kathy Wolf and Sons, T&J Homes, and Making Memories Entertainment sponsored Gen Z and brought in the amazing sound system, Slim and Chubby's Bar brought you Cheese Stick Thunder, Manowske Welding helped us by welding up our new front stage as well as our new drum riser, and Sunny 97.7 helped advertise. The Fond du lac Navy Club and American Legion were on the shoreline and coming through by the boats selling brats, burgers, and dogs. My understanding is they did well on sales. Thank you all for supporting our local veterans. I also want to thank Jeff Hefter. He is the man behind getting us to come down to Fond du lac and helping to get our sponsors. We have a number of photos for you as well as a video for you to see what happened. Again thank you to our sponsors and to everyone that help support this event! We hope you enjoyed the bands and had a fun day on the water! See the over 700 photos on our - Photo Gallery