Soaking up Summer Camp, safely

By Anna Yee

May 26, 2012 Updated May 26, 2012 at 10:22 PM CDT

CHILLICOTHE, Ill. -- As music lovers enter Three Sisters Park, they'll experience the sounds of summer in Chillicothe.

Dozens of bands are headlining Summer Camp, a music festival that's expected to bring in nearly 18,000 guests and all that usually comes with the weekend-long event.

"You're always going to have some bad eggs that want to come and supply drugs to people," said Chillicothe Police Chief Scott Mettille. "We just do our best to try to narrow that down."

Both Chillicothe Police Dept. and Peoria County Sheriff's Office are on patrol.

Chief Scott Mettille says they have made some drug arrests so far.

Despite some reported drug use, Summer Camp officials says that's not the main threat. With this hot and dry weather, it's dehydration.

By Saturday afternoon, almost 200 people made a trip to the OSF St. Francis Medical Center emergency tent, the majority of cases involving dehydration.

"What we're seeing is light headedness, just people who aren't in the right state of mind, and a lot of it has to do with hydration issues," said Troy Erbentraut, Manager of OSF Disaster Preparedness. "All they need to do is drink, drink, drink."

Drink water, that is.

"They think by drinking beer or some kind of liquor or something like that, anything with sugar to stay hydrated," said Erbentraut," it'll actually dehydrate them."

Mike Armintrout, Summer Camp organizer and Director of Operations for Jay Goldberg Events and Entertainment, says watching out for others is a main priority.

"If people aren't able to safely have a good time, then we're not doing our job to make the festival safe for everybody," said Armintrout. "And if they don't feel safe, if they're not able to have a good time safely, then they're not going to want to come back the next year."

Armintrout says no deaths have occurred during the festival's 11 year history and doesn't expect any serious incident on this 12th year, as long as people continue to soak in the sounds of summer, safely.

Summer Camp ends Sunday, May 27. For more information, head to the link above.

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