REO Speedwagon

The Main Stage lineup for the 2013 Washington Town and Country Fair was announced Saturday night at the Chamber of Commerce banquet.

Fair Chairman Al Behr promised this year’s Fair will live up to its theme, “Summer’s Last Blast,” with five days of nonstop music, motor sports action, new rides and family fun.

The Washington Fair will open Wednesday, Aug. 7, and run through Sunday, Aug. 11, at the city fairgrounds.

A video showcasing some of the entertainment and exhibits was shown at the banquet.

The big-name lineup will open with country music singer and songwriter Justin Moore Thursday night.

On Friday night, Behr said the Fair Board is excited to welcome back rock band REO Speedwagon which was the headliner at last year’s Fair, but whose show had barely gotten under way when a major storm blew in, shutting down the grounds.

Taking the stage Saturday evening will be Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd and closing out the Fair Sunday night will be country music band Parmalee.

Motor Sports

Behr said the motor sports arena will again offer “heart-pounding” action, with several new events, including monster trucks, freestyle motocross riders and UTV racing.

Popular events like the bull ride, and the truck, tractor, and mini rod pull will all be returning as well.

The monster trucks to be featured Thursday night will include Tailgator, Smashasauras, Razin Kane and the Ice Cream Man, along with some high-flying freestyle motocross riders. The UTV racing will take place Saturday night featuring “tricked-out” utility vehicles.

New Midway

Fairgoers also can expect a new midway. Behr said the board has elected to go with a new carnival company, PPJ Happee Day, which has many exciting rides.

Other new events include a spray paint artist and glass blowing by Astral Glass Studios of New Haven. Both exhibits will be there all five days of the Fair.

The special chairman’s event will be announced at a later date.

Opening night of the Fair will feature the annual queen contest on the Main Stage. A total of 25 contestants will compete for the title. Prior to the coronation, an opening ceremony with the color guard will take place.

Two pre-Fair events, the run/walk and parade, will again be held the weekend prior to the Fair opening.

Behr said the Fair Board is very excited about the entire lineup, and emphasized how all of the concerts are included in the ticket price. Ticket prices will remain the same as last year and can be purchased now online at


Country singer Justin Moore grew up in tiny Poyen, Ark., and hit Nashville in 2009. He started singing as early as 2 years old, and at 8 won a talent show at the local high school.

Moore has opened for Trace Adkins, Luke Bryan, Brooks & Dunn, ZZ Top, and the Rowdy Frynds Tour with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Hank Williams Jr.

His first single, “Back That Thing Up,” made it onto the country Top 40 charts. A second single, “Small Town USA,” topped the charts and paved the way for his self-titled debut, Justin Moore.

In 2011, Moore returned armed with another Top 10 country hit, “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away,” and a second studio album, “Outlaws Like Me.”

Rock band REO Speedwagon formed in 1967, and grew in popularity during the 1970s and 1980s. The band’s most successful album is “Hi Infidelity” which sold over 10 million copies and charted four Top 40 hits in the United States.

Over the course of its career, the band has sold more than 40 million records and has charted 13 Top 40 hits.

REO Speedwagon also played at the Washington Fair in 1997 to big crowds.

Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The band released its debut album in August 1973.

Led by core members Gary Rossington, Johnny Van Zant and Rickey Medlocke, along with longtime drummer Michael Cartellone, Lynyrd Skynyrd recently released “Last of a Dying Breed.”

The band’s career was halted for a decade after the 1977 plane crash that killed three band members, including Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, and then subsequently faced adversity through the losses of Billy Powell, Ean Evans, Allen Collins, Leon Wilkeson and Huey Thomasson.

With a catalog of over 60 albums, sales beyond $30 million worldwide and their classic American rock anthem “Sweet Home Alabama” the band continues to appeal to all generations.

Parmalee is a country music band consisting of brothers Matt Thomas and Scott Thomas along with their cousin Barry Knox and friend Josh McSwain.

They released their debut single, “Musta Had a Good Time,” in early 2012, which was a Top 40 hit on mainstream country radio and No. 7 in the Top 10 Country Dance Hits of 2012.

Parmalee has been highlighted in USA Today, AOL’s The Boot, Country Aircheck, Country Weekly and named a “Bubbling Under Artist” by Billboard magazine.