Squirrel Jam Headlines Activities Leading Up To The Solar Eclipse

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Black squirrels will be jamming rather than scampering in Marysville’s City Park at Squirrel Jam, an event held in conjunction with the weekend activities leading up to the total solar eclipse. The jam will be in City Park from 3:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Sunday, August 20, the day before Marysville experiences one minute and eleven seconds of totality. The event is sponsored by the Marshall County Arts Cooperative.

“We’ll jam in the area where Simmons Auditorium used to be located,” said Scott Keller, a board member for the arts cooperative. “We’ll be in the center of the park so the music can fill the entire area. It’s a great location with shade, too.”

Keller came up with the idea for Squirrel Jam at a meeting for the arts cooperative. He envisioned an event where musicians could come together, share their talents, and make music on the spot. During the discussion Sharon Ekiss, another board member, suggested the name Squirrel Jam, and the basic outline for the festival was formed.

“We have so many musicians in this area,” Keller said. “I thought it would be a cool idea to bring everyone together to create music.”

Musicians are invited to bring their instrument and the songs they want to perform. Sound equipment and a drum set will be provided. Even though the event is scheduled for six hours musicians may come for any part of the jam session.

“We’ll have some lead musicians there the entire time to keep things going,” Keller said. “Otherwise, this is informal. We hope this brings musicians together to create music and even experience new styles of music.”

Not only is the event for musicians, it is also for those who want to hear live music. Those attending Squirrel Jam are allowed to bring coolers of canned beverages (non-alcoholic and beer) to the event.

“People should bring their picnic blankets or lawn chairs and drinks so they can enjoy great music,” Keller said.

Squirrel Jam is being held in conjunction with the other events leading up to the total solar eclipse. A brisket dinner will be served in City Park from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Sunday evening.

For more information about Squirrel Jam people may contact Keller at 785-713-2748. For more information about the other events scheduled for the weekend, people may contact Michelle Whitesell, director of Marysville Convention and Tourism, at 785-619-6050.

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Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.