DENHAM SPRINGS -- The rain came and it went.
After that, the crowds came and they stayed.
Heavy rainfall — and a subsequent flood advisory — in the greater Baton Rouge area put an early-morning damper on Saturday’s Cajun Country Jam, which had to be pushed back from its original 11 a.m. opening.
But once the rain cleared, people of all ages steadily packed into downtown Denham Springs, bringing with them their lawn chairs and umbrellas for an afternoon of country tunes.
Eventually, they got what they came for.
The Cajun Country Jam, held for eight hours on two stages in the Antique Village, featured five local and national acts, headlined by Grammy award-winning group Shenandoah in the 8:30 p.m. slot.
The main stage also welcomed Australian country star Jamie O’Neal as well as Louisiana natives Andy Griggs, who performed with O’Neal, and Sara Collins, from Central. Clifton Brown and the Rusty Bucket Band kicked the show off at Train Station Park.
All in all, the return of the Cajun Country Jam — last held three years ago — went as well as organizer Scott Innes and his team could've hoped after the heavy morning showers.
“It was a completely different picture earlier today,” Innes told the crowd in between sets.
Innes said he and collaborator Colbi Rosenthal arrived in Denham Springs around 7 a.m. to get things ready. The rain started coming down shortly after that — at one point flooding Railroad Avenue — and didn’t completely stop until around noon, an hour after the show was scheduled to start.
The rain forced Innes and Rosenthal — who flooded their social media accounts with minute-to-minute updates — to pull the plug on some of the morning acts, including James Linden Hogg, Sheriff Bud Torres, and Hal Bruni, among others.
But Innes and Rosenthal had better luck in the afternoon than the morning: Once The Rusty Bucket Band took its place on stage for its 3 p.m. set., it was smooth sailing from there.
Collins, a 17-year-old singer, opened the main stage by performing a mixture of country and rock tunes, as well as some of her original music. Griggs, a Monroe native, hit the stage next and was joined soon after by O’Neal.
Following their performance, Shenandoah came out to a roaring crowd that had waited for hours — in the rain and then the heat — to see the six-person band. At one point, Prairieville singer Caitlyn McMorris joined Shenandoah lead singer Marty Raybon for a song.