HUNTSVILLE — While mother nature proved to be quite a fly in the ointment Saturday evening, Brimstone’s annual White Knuckle Event otherwise went smoothly, according to law enforcement and first responders who were on duty throughout the holiday weekend.
The annual Memorial Day weekend event saw thousands of visitors make the trip to Huntsville for Brimstone’s three-day ATV-themed festival. While it did not take long for the first ATV accident to be reported on the first day of the event, with an ATV rolling over an embankment on River Road Thursday evening, that was not a sign of things to come.
Scott County Sheriff Ronnie Phillips said Monday that his officers who were on duty throughout the weekend reported no significant disturbances.
“It went really well,” Phillips said. “I think the last two events (Paragon in September and White Knuckle Event this past weekend) have probably been the best two events they’ve had, in terms of accidents and everyone behaving.”
Phillips said there were only “a handful” of accidents related to the festival. Reportedly, none of those accidents resulted in life-threatening injuries.
With the passage of time and a number of the ATV festivals, law enforcement agencies have refined their approach to the events. Both the Sheriff’s Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol utilize the use of side-by-side ATVs to patrol the River Road area, helping them both keep rowdy riders in check and respond to accidents more quickly.
“The special ops are just here to assist us and it seems to go real well,” Phillips said, referring to THP’s ATV-equipped troopers. “I think it’s really helped.”
Phillips said reports of ATVs being operated recklessly on River Road and other streets in the event area have declined since law enforcement personnel have begun patrolling those areas more frequently on their own ATVs.
While the weather cooperated with the event for the most part, severe thunderstorms rolled into the region just as the most anticipated part of the festival was beginning. The Vanderpool Event Area on River Road was evacuated just as country music sensation was about to take the stage around dusk Saturday evening. The concert was delayed until after midnight as a result.