The Main Stage lineup for the 2014 Washington Town and Country Fair was announced Saturday night at the Chamber of Commerce banquet.
Chairman Paul Brune said this year’s Fair will be the place to meet up with friends and family, with five days of live music, motor sports action, rides and family fun.
“Meet Me at the Fair” is the theme which Brune said he chose, in part, as a nod to the Fair’s 85th anniversary, the city of Washington’s 175th birthday, and the St. Louis World’s Fair 110th anniversary.
“For me, the Fair was always the place to meet up with friends at the end of the summer, and I think that still holds true for so many people today,” he said. “Even though people can stay connected a lot easier today, the Fair is still the place to meet in August.”
The Washington Fair will open Wednesday, Aug. 6, and run through Sunday, Aug. 10, at the city fairgrounds.
A video showcasing some of the entertainment and exhibits was shown at Saturday night’s banquet.
Main Stage Acts
The big-name musical entertainment will open Thursday night with country music singer Easton Corbin, who signed to Mercury Records Nashville in 2009.
Corbin released his self-titled debut album in March 2010, featuring two No. 1 hits, “A Little More Country Than That” and “Roll With It,” as well as “I Can’t Love You Back.”
On Friday night, 3 Doors Down, a Southern rock band with many big hits from the early 1990s, will take the stage.
“We are really excited about 3 Doors Down and expect big crowds,” Brune said. “With the tractor pull in the motor sports arena that night, we will have packed houses on both ends of the fairgrounds.”
Among the band’s hit singles are “Kryptonite,” “When I’m Gone” and “Here Without You.” 3 Doors Down’s fifth studio album, “Time of My Life,” debuted at No. 3 on the charts.
Taking center stage Saturday night will be country music star Trace Adkins, who made his debut in 1995 with the album, “Dreamin’ Out Loud.” Since then, Adkins has released seven more studio albums and two Greatest Hits compilations.
His No. 1 hits include “(This Ain’t) No Thinkin’ Thing,” “Ladies Love Country Boys” and “You’re Gonna Miss This,” and “I Left Something Turned on at Home.”
Adkins also has made several appearances on television, including being the 2013 winner on The Celebrity Apprentice, and has appeared in numerous films.
“Trace Adkins should bring a big, big crowd,” Brune said. “He has a huge following and has fans from young to old.”
Closing out the Main Stage lineup Sunday night will be David Nail, an “up and coming” country music singer.
“David is from Kennett and a Mizzou grad so a lot of people know him and are excited he’s coming to the Washington Fair,” Brune said. “Since he’s a Missouri boy, we expect him to bring a crowd from his hometown as well. He also has several top hits out right now, so the timing is great.”
Fair officials also are working to bring in a Christian rock band, but details are still being worked out.
Brune said the Main Stage acts are not what he originally set out to book, but he thinks the final lineup is even better than he hoped for when he took over the reins as Fair chairman.
“All of the singers and bands are Grammy nominees, so I think that says a lot about the quality of entertainment we will have,” he said. “I think we will have a strong start with Easton Corbin, and it just gets better from there.”
Brune said the motor sports lineup is almost identical to last year with bull riding Wednesday night and the return of the Monster Trucks on Thursday.
On Friday, the “always popular” tractor pull will take place and UTV racing is coming back on Saturday. Motocross racing will close out the action Sunday.
A new two-story building is currently under construction at the arena, which will replace a trailer used at past Fairs.
The top floor will provide space for the motor sports committee and supplies, while the lower level will have offices and a “payout” window for participants. A deck also is being built, which is where the announcers will sit.
The building also will provide another storm structure on the fairgrounds.
The chairman’s event this year will be Top Hogs — trick-performing pigs, Brune said.
“The pigs can do all kinds of tricks, from simple to complex — it’s something to see,” he said. “They’ve been featured on the David Letterman Show, Jay Leno and National Geographic.”
Top Hogs will be at the fairgrounds all five days, performing several shows each day.
Also new will be Heritage Land, replacing Safety Land, which had run its course, Brune said.
“We had a glassblower last year, who was a big hit and is returning again this year, so we decided to bring in other heritage-type crafters, like a blacksmith, a wooden barrel maker, maybe a candlemaker, things like that,” he said. “Since it’s our 85th anniversary, it’s nice to bring something back from the past.”
The carnival company, PBJ Happee Day Shows, will be back again this year after making its debut last year. Fair officials liked the new “look” of the midway and the new rides.
Opening night of the Fair will again 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.
Brune said the Fair Board is very excited about the entire lineup. All of the concerts are included in the ticket price, he said.
Ticket prices will remain the same as last year and can be purchased now online at washmofair.com.
The Fair is running a special until the end of May — two adult and two child season passes for $100. This deal is only good if purchased online.