About 30,000 people soaked up the sun Saturday and Sunday while enjoying free carnival rides, live music, ziplining and other activities during the 12th Annual Spring into Summer Salute to Fort Campbell Festival outside Valor Hall Conference and Event Center.
During the free concert headlined by country music star Josh Turner, about 7,000 people crowded onto the grassy berm outside the Viceroy Stage.
"It was one of the best concerts we've ever had," said Traci Cunningham, Oak Grove Tourism Commission executive director. "We are just super pleased. I just can't even describe the feeling."
People began pulling into the center parking lot before the festival even began Saturday, Cunningham said. As the afternoon progressed, thousands of families poured into the park to take advantage of free carnival rides such as the Dizzy Dragons, Jalopy Junction and Superman. Classics including the Tilt-A-Whirl and Ferris Wheel also were available and popular during the event.
"I think it went pretty amazing," Cunningham said. "We've gotten nothing but great comments. Everyone just had the best time. This was the biggest turn-out that we've had."
The festival also featured a Car and Motorcycle Show and a trampoline show.
Saturday, Private 2 Dewaun Austin held tightly onto his two sons Titus, 6, and Dewaun Jr., 7, while the trio circled around and around on the Carousel.
Austin, assigned to 96th Aviation Support Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, said it was nice that the festival was dedicated to Fort Campbell service members and their families.
"This is just awesome and it's so different," Austin said. "We really are enjoying this today."
Austin and his family are new to the area. Fort Campbell is his first duty station. This is the first year he attended the festival.
"Being in basic training and (Advanced Individual Training) was hard … being gone for six months, not being able to touch my children," he said. "I could see them through Facebook, but I couldn't be with them."
Austin said this was a day for wholesome, family fun with his sons, which is something he missed while recently completing his training.
"This festival just makes me feel so special," he said. "That a community would come together to put something like this on for soldiers is just … it's special."