XENIA — The 2014 Greene County Fair has something for everyone on this year’s entertainment schedule, including some crowd favorites, a few new faces and a couple of big changes to the regular line-up.
Taking the main stage for the big concert Tuesday night will be up-and-coming country singer, songwriter Cole Swindell with special guest Clark Manson. Tickets went on sale in March and fair organizers are hoping to have a sell-out show.
“We’ve stepped up our game to have a big name country artist this year,” said Jeff Barr, Greene County Fair board member and public relations spokesman. “We still have some tickets left so it’s not too late to come to the show.”
Earlier this year, Cole Swindell was nothing more or less than a songwriter with a Nashville publishing deal and a growing reputation as one of the city’s most exciting young performers. Now, he’s on the road to stardom. “Chillin’ It,” a song with a laid-back summertime charm, perfectly captures the guy who wrote and performs it. Independent radio airplay and social media quickly turned it into a sensation. With sales continuing to rise, “Chillin’ It” is trending to be his first Gold certified single.
Joining Swindell will be Clark Manson, who wanted nothing more than to become not only a country singer but a songwriter as well. He moved to Fairborn where he attempted to overlook his musical purpose and attended Wright State University. Packing the bars of several universities, 23-year-old Manson decided his passion for the music industry couldn’t be broken. He released his debut album in November 2013, “Running with the Night,” which quickly climbed the iTunes charts, peaking at number 30 on the day of its release.
The country concert begins at 7:30 p.m. July 29 at the Grandstand. Tickets are $20.00 each, which includes fair admission for the ticket holder only, and may be purchased with cash or credit card only in person at the fair office or by calling 937-372-3080. Sales are limited to 10 tickets per person.
A couple more big changes for the grandstand line-up are the Tractor Pull and Demo Derby changing nights. Fair organizers are gearing up for a bigger show by bringing in the Ohio State Tractor Pullers Association (OSTPA) for this year’s trator pull event at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1.
“People have been asking for bigger tractors, and with this being the fair’s 175th anniversary we thought it’s the time to try it,” said Barr. “We’ll have more powerful tractors, and more participants in general.”
The Demo Derby will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 2 in the grandstand.
“We switched the demo derby to Saturday to hopefully get more cars. A lot of people work during the week and it’s hard for them to get there on Friday,” Barr said.
Grandstand admission is $5 and pit passes are $10 for both events.
Entertainment Center line-up
The Sounds of TOUCH will kick-off this year’s musical entertainment line-up at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 27 at the Entertainment Center.
Recently TOUCH was a top 3 finalist on the NBC television show “The Winner Is” hosted by Nick Lachey. Members Xonerale Freeman, Arthur “Hakim” Stokes, Anthony “Plum” Brown and Floyd Weatherspoon from Dayton have been entertaining audiences all over the country for more than 15 years. They sing smash hits from artists such as The Four Tops, Earth, Wind & Fire, Marvin Gaye, The O’Jays, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, The Temptations, Luther Vandross, The Commodores and more.
The New Old-Fashioned band will take the stage at 8 p.m. Monday, July 28. The rock-n-roll and alternative country band hailing from Xenia pairs big vocal harmonies with songwriting. Led by vocalist and songwriter David Payne, the voices of Kent Montgomery (guitar), Tom Blackbern (bass) and Jon Chasteen (drums) sit very comfortably atop a thick Americana backdrop.
A few lucky fair patrons will have the opportunity to “Grab for Cash” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 29 at the Entertainment Center.
Greene County rising stars will get to strut their stuff during “Xenia’s Got Talent” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 30. DJ Josh Lowe will host the local contest, which will be similar to the popular television show “America’s Got Talent,” in which contestants perform for three judges for a chance to win their 15 minutes of fame.
“We have had an excellent turnout every year so we’re brining it back again,” said Barr. “We decided to do only one night this year because it’s sometimes hard for people to make that two-night commitment. We wanted to make it easier to compete.”
Organizers are looking for a variety of acts. No talent has been outlawed, but contestants need to keep in mind that this is a family-friendly event. Awards for ages 16 and older will be $500 for first place, $250 for second, $150 for third, $100 for fourth and $50 for fifth. Kids age 15 and younger will win $200 for first place, $100 for second and $75 for third, while fourth receives 50 fair coins and fifth receives 25 fair coins.
Registration starts at 4 p.m. the day of the event in the Fair Office. Entry forms are available in the Fairbook or online at www.greenecountyfairgrounds.com. Contestants must send music to the DJ before tryouts at email@example.com.
Fair favorite Joe Mullins and The Radio Ramblers will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 31. The award-winning bluegrass group has an energetic mix of bluegrass and gospel music, inventive instrumental work, a wide variety of vocal arrangements including a capella quartets and tasteful, down-home humor.
Mullins, of Cedarville, has been a recognizable banjo player, vocalist, and radio broadcaster for 30 years. Mullins toured and recorded as a founding member of the band The Traditional Grass until 1995, when he purchased WBZI Radio in Xenia. He is joined by Mike Terry, Evan McGregor, Duane Sparks, and Randy Barne. The group debuted at the Grand Ole Opry in July 2013.
Rick Hendersen and The Shotgun Band will finish out the week’s musical entertainment at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 1. They have been entertaining crowds for more than 30 years with new and old country, new and old rock-n-roll, pop, standards, and comedy.
Henderson has been performing since the age of 11 when he first sang the Hank Williams classic, “Your Cheatin’ Heart” at a VFW picnic in his hometown of Xenia. He is now an accomplished musician who tackles guitar, banjo, mandolin, piano, horns and more. He is joined by Doug Harlow on the drums, John Anderson on bass and Sherry Kaye on vocals.
There is no additional fee for performances at the Entertainment Center. Limited bleacher seating is available so bring your own lawn chairs.
See the complete Fair schedule and complete guide to the week of July 27 at the Fairgrounds look inside this newspaper.