By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Rain dampened attendance Saturday at Pepsi's Jammin' on Main festival, but a late afternoon burst of sunshine helped buoy fans as the music kicked off.
Event organizers estimated about 10,000 people came each evening of the two-night event on Main Street from Ninth to Central Parkway. Revelers were expected to stick around for the close of the festival, headliner Dennis DeYoung, lead vocalist of the 1970s rock band Styx.
"I don't think the weather helped us, but Cincinnati has always been a late crowd," said Tony Dotson, event coordinator. "We did great last night after the (Cincinnati Reds) ball game let out. This has been our most diverse lineup of bands in years."
Thirty-two bands played this year, ranging from Salsa music to pop rock to bluegrass. And earlier Saturday, a high school band battle brought out about 500 excited students - and their proud parents - despite heavy downpours.
"We just got drilled with rain and thunderstorms, but we still had people show up," Dotson said. "Jammin' has always been set for going to folk to reggae to rock music so everyone can come and say they heard one of their bands."
Organizers had earlier projected some 40,000 people would attend the two-day event.
"I just heard there was outdoor music and wanted to see Cincinnati," said Maury Smith of Vermont, who is in town for a teacher's course.
The music began Saturday night with rock band Anonymous Bosch playing on a stage in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse, as young and old alike mingled, sipping beer, munching on funnel cakes covered with powdered sugar, or just chatting.
"It's a great program. I've come every year since it started," said Linnea Flickner of Milford as she purchased soft drinks for her son, 11, and two of his friends.
"Downtown is such an underrated venue. We should appreciate it more," she said. "If we used it more, ultimately, we'd start to integrate culturally a bit more, which we definitely need to do."
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