Delta Fair CEO: 'Rhinestone Roper' act led to scare, stampede - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Delta Fair CEO: 'Rhinestone Roper' act led to scare, stampede

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Dan Mink, known as Rhinestone Roper (Source: WMC Action News 5) Dan Mink, known as Rhinestone Roper (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A group of people panicked during the Delta Fair and Music Festival on Saturday when someone said they heard gunshots. However, it was part of an act and no real bullets were fired.

Cell phone video shows a stampede of people screaming and running just before 10 p.m. Saturday.

Rumors circulated as the stampede moved towards the festival's exit. Some said they heard shots fired, and others said it was a prank.

According to Delta Fair CEO and President Mark Lovell, the panic was caused by a planned fair act. During his act, Dan Mink, known as the Rhinestone Roper, shot blanks at a balloon in the air.

"A gun with blanks," Lovell said. "The gunpowder still shoots through the air and that is what pops the balloon."

Lovell said the shots scared people and caused a stampede, but he understands why people believed the gunshots were real.

"When they think they hear something that's harmful to them, they are going to run," Lovell explained.

Even blank bullets create a noise that would send anyone into a panic.

Thankfully, no one was injured during the stampede.

Lovell added that he will discontinue the act at night because people are likely on edge about safety.

"We have MPD and SCSO out here heavily patrolling and have metal detectors as needed," Lovell said about security. He said he hasn't seen any decrease in turnout from previous years thus far.

Lovell said the Delta Fair is safe, though he and his staff learned a lesson from the incident.

"We've got plenty of security here," Lovell added. "We have a Class A Security company, which is a private company that has been doing the fair for about five years now."

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