Leader Blues

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TOP STORY >>Two country groups to headline White County Fair

By JOAN MCCOY
Leader staff writer

Organizers of the White County Fair, set for Sept. 14-19, announced last Thursday that not one but two well-known country bands will perform this year.

Ricochet, best known for its hit song, “Daddy’s Money,” will perform Thursday night, Sept. 17. And on Friday night, Sept. 18, Confederate Railroad will take the stage to perform hits like “Queen of Memphis” and “Trashy Women.”

Chuck Wisdom, a retired Beebe banker charged with finding performers for the 74th annual White County Fair, said the fair has hosted big-name performers since 1970, when the Wilburn Brothers performed.

Last year, the Kentucky Headhunters was the group that brought in the crowd, and over the years the fairground stage has been graced with stars like Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton, Barbara Mandrell, Sawyer Brown and the Bellamy Brothers.

“Good entertainment is essential to a good fair,” Wisdom said.

Luke Williams, the Beebe teenager trying to make it in Nashville with his band, opened for the Kentucky Headhunters last year and will open for Confederate Railroad this year.

Gospel singers the Freedom 4 Quartet and Krystal Jones will open for Ricochet.

The entertainment is free with gate admission, which is higher on Thursday and Friday nights.

Although the fair doesn’t officially open until Monday, Sept. 14, the attractions start Saturday, Sept. 12 with the White County Fair Horse Show with free admission.

The fair queen will be chosen on Monday night followed by talent shows on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Bull riding is set for Thursday night. And on Saturday the attractions include a rodeo and a demolition derby.

The midway rides are provided again this year by P.B.J. Happee Day Shows Inc., a family-owned business based in Marion.

Pam Casper, one of the owners, said the company paid $100,000 to outfit its giant gondola wheel with LED lights.

“The carnival is going green this year,” Casper said, adding that the lights are so striking they wowed even the carnival workers, who are hard to impress.

LED lights could eventually be required on all carnival rides, she said but for now, “this is the only one traveling in the United States.”

Tickets are $4 for adults and $3 for children on Monday and Wednesday. Admission is free Tuesday.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for children over five on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. There is no admission charge for children five years old and under.

The fair publication this year is in booklet form and organizers say will be easier to read because of the large print and they promise this year it won’t fall apart because it is stapled in the middle.

The booklet will be available at local businesses and at the fairground office. Pick one up for rules about exhibiting animals, and entering contests for such skills as handicrafts, needlework, home canning, bread making, painting, gardening and farming.