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In a change from tradition, the Washington Town & Country Fair has made its first entertainment announcement for 2018 — a Red Dirt triple feature on Friday night.

The Fair typically unveils the full Main Stage lineup at the Washington Area Chamber of Commerce banquet in March, along with a video showcasing all of the bands and some of the special exhibits. The Fair is a division of the Chamber.

Three bands will take the stage Friday night, Aug. 3 — Chris Knight, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, and The Turnpike Troubadours.

The Fair will open Wednesday, Aug. 1, and run through Sunday, Aug. 5, at the city fairgrounds. This year’s theme is “Your Bridge to Fun” as a nod to the new Highway 47 bridge under construction.

Amanda Griesheimer, marketing director for the Fair and Chamber, said the Fair Board already had some of the Main Stage acts booked and felt early promotion would build excitement and hopefully ticket sales.

“The Chamber also is tweaking its banquet program this year as well, so it seemed like a good time to change things up,” Griesheimer said. “We will still show the video at the banquet and Fair Chairman Brian Gildehaus will speak and introduce the Fair Board.”

The Chamber plans to announce the remaining acts for the Pepsi Main Stage, as well as other attractions for the 2018 Fair, via @washmofair social media accounts on Thursday afternoons throughout January and February.

Griesheimer said there may be another night featuring multiple bands.

“We have a lot of entertainment still to announce and we’re excited — stay tuned,” she said.

Red Dirt Style

Griesheimer said the Red Dirt music style is one some Fairgoers have requested over the years. She said while some people may be totally unfamiliar with this type of music, there are just as many who are big fans.

“It’s not necessarily the country music you hear a lot on the radio today, it’s more classic country,” she said.

Gildehaus said he’s thrilled about the new offering.

“What a great opportunity for us to bring a new genre to the stage, with three of the biggest names in Red Dirt,” he said.

Gildehaus said Chris Knight is a 20-year veteran with eight albums and an uncompromised reputation as one of the best singers/songwriters in America. Knight will open the show that Friday night, which is expected to start earlier at about 6:30 or 7 p.m.

Jason Boland & The Stragglers will follow with a high-energy performance that remains steadfast and true to the country music of old, Gildehaus said.

The night will end with The Turnpike Troubadours, who have taken the Texas/Red Dirt scene by storm with a mix of excellent songwriting, superior musicianship and a killer live show, he added.

Griesheimer said seating for the concert will still be general admission as in the past and the concert is included in the ticket price.

One-day tickets for Aug. 3 are on sale now at washmofair.com. Admission to the Fair includes concerts, midway rides, shows, exhibits and motor sports events.

The ticket cost for Friday is $30 for adults (age 16 and older) and $15 for children (age 6-15). Fairgoers age 5 and under are free.

Griesheimer said season passes, good for every day of the five-day Fair, will be available for purchase beginning in March.

About the Fair

Now in its 89th year, Griesheimer said the Washington Town & Country Fair is known throughout the region as a fantastic fair and great bargain.

In addition to five nights of concerts on the Main Stage, other attractions include the motor sports events, a 20-ride midway, regional bands in the entertainment tent, livestock shows, stage shows, strolling entertainers, interactive exhibits and Fair food.