Beach leaders are launching a marketing campaign to show tourists Hurricane Dennis hasn't put Panama City Beach out of business, and they're hoping the new and improved Indian Summer Festival will accomplish two things that they haven't been able to do in three years: make money and successfully extend the tourist season well into the fall.
Leaders of the Tourist Development Council say it's time for change, so they've hired a company called Sound Associates out of Mobile to put on the Indian Summer Festival.
Ron Johnson of Sound Associates says he plans to change the "flavor" of the festival. He wants to modify the layout making it easier to find drinks and less of a walk to your car. He's also made ticket prices cheaper: $10 a day for adults, $5 for children under 12 and weekend passes are $25.
Cheyenne and Blake Shelton kick off the weekend Friday, October 7.
Saturday, Classic Rock Stars perform a 90-minute show. They open for the country female group SheDaisy.
Sunday, Cowboy Crush opens for Jeff Bates.
The Tourism Development Council is a major sponsor and plans to kick in $50,000.
TDC Director Bob Warren said, "We wish them the very best in profitability. I think Mr. Johnson is aware that if the festival is not profitable, anything beyond the initial investment of the TDC is his nickel."
Event promoters plan to buy insurance again this year to help protect their investment in case bad weather chases away the crowds.