Festival fans enjoy TOW

Jackie Weibly of Lakewood Independent Methodist Church sings as behind her, Moe Hubbard (left) and Michael Cox play during Praise on Water on Sunday. Praise on Water was one of the culminating events of the five-day festival.

Staff photo / Galen Holley

Staff Writer

   Local folks and even people from as far away as Russia descended on Grenada Lake last week to celebrate Thunder on Water.
   The weather was hot, but the skies were clear and the heavens blessed event-goers with kind breezes throughout the event.
   According to traffic counts from the Army Corps of Engineers, more than 130,500 people attended during the five days of the festival.
   One of the first stops on the half-mile-long midway was the Grenada Area Chamber of Commerce tent.
   “We are here to make a big story about life in America,” said Iliya Dgopa, standing in the shade of the chamber’s tent. Dgopa, who stood out from the crowd in a starched shirt and tie, works for Beautiful Television in Russia. He and friends, Anatoliy Bzivskas and Kolya Tupitsa, were traveling the country visiting points of interest. They happened to be passing through Grenada when they heard about Thunder. They couldn’t pass it up, Dgopa said.
   “We heard there was a local event and a famous festival, so we came to see it. We like it very much,” said Dgopa. “The people are very friendly, and we like the way you talk.” As he spoke, Dgopa made a motion like plucking a banjo.

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