The third annual Muddy River Music Festival was hosted in Atchison on Sept. 14, drawing crowds from many surrounding towns.

One of the many bands that performed was Under the Big Oak Tree, a folk band out of St. Joseph, Mo. The lead singer, Kristin Hamilton, had some words about the beauty of Atchison.

“I’ve always been fond of Atchison. I think it’s a beautiful town, rich in history, with beautiful architecture,” Hamilton said. “We don’t get here often enough. Any time an opportunity comes up in Atchison, I’m always on board.”

Ginny Whitten helps her family run the Whitten Snack Wagon. The Whittens started their food truck this past summer in an attempt to revive the carnival in their hometown of Eudora, Kansas.

The Whittens chose to come to the Muddy River Music Festival primarily for business but when asked her favorite part of the event, Whitten said it was working with her family.

“Our family working together; setting up, struggling, learning how to run our product, what to not do next time,” Whitten said. “But you know what, at the end of the night, we go home, kick back in the garage with a beer, count what we made and say ‘wow’. But we’re all family.”

Benedictine College students also attended the Muddy River Music Festival, including sophomores Clayton Stewart and Isabel Resa.

“I think it’s a really fun event that more people should come to,” Resa said.

Neither Stewart nor Resa had been to the festival before, but said they found it on accident, on the way back to campus from St. Joseph, Mo.

Jason Riley, the lead guitarist for Under the Big Oak Tree, teaches in the music department at Benedictine College. He expressed that there may be a disconnect in the communication between the college and Atchison.

“I was trying to tell some of my students that we were going to be here, you know, and some of them knew about it and some of them hadn’t even heard about it,” Riley said.

Whitten suggested that volunteering in the community is a great way for students to be involved and connect with Atchison.

“Go to the chamber of commerce, look at every event they got going on, and ask them where the college can come in,” Whitten said. “They will have a thousand ideas. Its communication. Face-to-face time is everything.”

Other artists that performed at the festival this year include the Garin Nolan Trio and local rapper, Yung Knowledge.

The Muddy River Music Festival is a free one-day annual event that offers music, food, and art from local vendors and artists. It is family and pet friendly and is hosted on the Atchison Riverfront.

For more information, visit their website or call the Chamber of Commerce at (913) 367-2427.