It's the "Lucky 13th" Gathering of the Juggalos this weekend in Hardin County as thousands flock to the HogRock campground on the Ohio River.
The event kicked off Wednesday and runs an extra day this year, ending on Sunday evening. The mass event brings thousands of Insane Clown Posse fans to see more than 100 bands. For law enforcement may also bring dozens of arrests and one or two deaths by the event's end — if history repeats itself.
By Wednesday afternoon Hardin County Sheriff Joyce Cullison said 15 had already been arrested by her department and the Illinois State Police. Her jail was full and the overflow had already started being sent to the Saline County Detention Center including three brought to Harrisburg late Tuesday.
The worst charges have been drugs and weapons she said.
Thursday was much calmer compared to the day before when everyone was trying to get into the campground causing huge traffic jams for the county roads leading to the campground.
"It's been quieter the last few hours since they moved in," Cullison said.
Hardin County's population was just 4,320 in the 2010 census. Cullison said she's been told the organizers had already sold 9,000 tickets online prior to Wednesday and were selling more at the gate. Billboard magazine reported last year that the event in 2010 brought 20,000 to the site.
The large number of fans creates a major impact on the county's finances and law enforcement.
"We are a poor county. It's a hardship on us," Cullison stressed.
She's hired three law enforcement officers from surrounding towns and counties as additional deputies for the week. Illinois State Police are assisting with patrols and roadside safety checks along with conservation police and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement. Even the U.S. Coast Guard has joined the effort with additional patrols along the river where Juggalos have drowned or gone missing at previous gatherings.
"Hopefully everything will go smooth. State Police has been great. Everyone has really been working with us great," the sheriff said. "Each day we get by without anything happening we get a sigh of relief."
Ambulance crews have remained busy constantly taking fans to the hospital.
"They keep the ambulance crews pretty busy," Cullison reported.
The sheriff is just thankful that there's been a change in the weather away from the 100 degree temperatures to a forecast for highs just in the 80s.
"I'm glad the weather broke and that it's not so hot," she said. "I hope they have fun, but just get out of here OK."
It's not all bad news for the local area with the Juggalos. Lodging establishments are booked solid throughout the southeastern Illinois region.
Crystal Mitchell, assistant manager for Comfort Inn the largest motel in the area outside Marion, said they're full through Sunday. For her establishment it's mostly security types and others hired to help run the shows.