On Saturday, July 18, the 3rd annual Crystal Music Festival was kicked off by the talents of 9-year old Kiylee Hughes. Kiylee did a fantastic job opening up the festival with the National Anthem while the local Marine Corps Color Guard raised the United States flag, led the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, and ending with an invocation.
Several bands stuck it out during the heat to have the chance to play on the Crystal Stage while rock hounds searched for the natural quartz crystals that cover the mine area. Beginning the evening set, festival organizers Orville and Cheryl Murphy held up tradition and honored a Fallen and Standing Hero.
The honored Fallen Hero was Sergeant James Holt, from Hope, Arkansas, who was Missing In Action in Vietnam, 47 years ago. His remains were recently identified and brought back to the United States and he was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. His brother, George, also of Hope, traveled to the festival to receive the certificate of honor for his late brother. The Standing Hero was named as Staff Sgt. Lonnie Hicks, who currently serves at the local armory and gives of his time tirelessly for his community. Cheryl Murphy said, “It was nice that our local Marine Corps. nominated Lonnie for this honor and that he and his family came to receive it.”
Just before dark, Tulsa-bred Kinsey Sadler hit the stage. Sadler, was a big surprise to those who had never heard her perform before. Her electrifying personality was apparent on the set as she rocked each song, whether it was original or a cover, or country or pop. Her wild style slowed down a bit for a few songs but she would pick it back up quick and invited the crowd to join in. Sadler is a sure-fire hit who must be up and coming in the world of entertainment.
After Sadler, Lance Carpenter and his band were up. Lance and the band knew Kinsey would be a tough act to follow, but they gave it their all and were a great headliner for the festival. Carpenter, an Ozark, Arkansas country boy, is all-gentlemen off stage, and even better on stage. He too, played originals and cover songs and ended the night with current billboard hit, “Love Me Like You Mean It,” recorded and popularized by Kelsea Ballerini.
Sadler and Carpenter were the perfect ending to a great day at a great festival. If you missed it this year, you missed a great show. Be sure to mark your calendars for next year because the Murphy’s plan to keep the tradition going.