The Incident at Kickapoo Creek

 Heyworth- It's known as the Incident at Kickapoo Creek from 1970. It was a rock music festival during Memorial Day weekend that has turned into legend and is now a film.

"They were just everywhere. It was a whole of a lot of people," said Mayor Larry Mowery.

The Mayor of Heyworth reminisced back to when he was 18 years old. He told WAND's reporter, Brigette Burnett, about the fun he had while living in the decade of sex, drugs and rock n' roll. A young teen who grew up in a small village and knew nothing of what many people where doing in bigger cities.

"We are insulated in this part of the country. Although we knew about Woodstock, who would think something like it would happen here," the Mayor added.

On a private farm land and on the Kickapoo Creek, David Lewis had a vision of bringing thousands of people in to listen to dozens of bands. Musicians and groups like Canned Heat and BB King were there to play for all who listened.

"It was quite something to be within hearing distance of BB King and Ted Nugent," added the Mayor.

Mayor Mowery said, it was like being in the Big Apple during Woodstock.

"It was a big crowd. Now you could you get in, yea if you didn't mind paying the money," Mayor Mowery said.

For a ticket in hippies paid $15 for not too many rules and sometimes no clothes, just grass and music.

"I don't think anybody even the promoters thought it was going to be as big of an event as it was," the Mayor said.

From a child living near Heyworth, RC Raycraft grew up hearing stories about the Incident at Kickapoo Creek. So many stories that he decided to make a film about it.

"I always wondered what happened in the creek and what happened that weekend and started to do some research," said Raycraft.

Since 1995 Raycraft compiled film, interviews and looked through countless memorabilia. It was his way of telling a story he believes not too many people know about.

"I think this is the first time students can really understand what it was like in 1970," Raycraft added.

It wasn't just the festival he learned about during his research. Raycraft looked into David Lewis' personal life after the festival was over.

"David Lewis disappeared. The rumor was he went to the Bahamas. I'm not sure if that's true or not," said the Mayor.

"He was sentenced to a year in jail and a quarter of a million dollars in fines. He was actually arrested at the bank. He had a sleeping bag of cash and a loaded 38," Raycraft said.

Raycraft also said, Lewis bailed himself out of jail after making $250,000 and left Heyworth. He also left with his teenage secretary and left his wife and a child behind.

If you want to know more about that weekend in 1970, see RC Raycraft's film the 'Incident at Kickapoo Creek'. It will be shown the evening of Thursday, June 25, 2015 at Route 66 Drive in Springfield.
Current Conditions