Walworth County Fair promises tuneful variety

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Thursday, August 21, 2014

ELKHORN—The Walworth County Fair serves as the unofficial announcement of the end of summer.

School is starting. Labor Day is the last guaranteed day off work until Thanksgiving. Soon the weather will start to turn cold.

Carpe diem, fairgoers.

The 165th Walworth County Fair opens Wednesday, Aug. 27, and runs through Monday, Sept. 1. Music is a big part of the grandstand entertainment, and this year's lineup includes a local favorite, a classic rock group and two appealing country acts.

Spectators can choose from free seating on the track or reserved seating in the bleachers or in front of the stage. Apart from the free seating, tickets range from $20 to $40.

The lineup:

7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29: The fair opens with country star Trace Adkins, who has been generating hits in the traditional country style for nearly two decades. His background in gospel music gives him a solid voice that appeals across generations and occasionally across genres.

Hits: Adkins has made more than a dozen albums between 1996 and 2013, and most have ended up in the Top 10.

His early hits include “I Left Something Turned On At Home” and “This Ain't No Thinkin' Thing.”  More recent hits include “Just Fishin',” “This Ain't No Long Song” and “All I Ask For Any More.”

Lyric that sums it all up: “He's talkin' cowboy this and cowboy that, well I bet one thing's for sure: The only stampede that he's ever seen is the clearance at the Western store.”

Adkins is the real thing, and he doesn't shy away from his country roots.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30: Fairgoers will get a second night of country with Little Big Town.

Like Adkins, Little Big Town has survived in the crowded country field because of its solid harmonies that endure beyond the musical whim of the moment. The band has been around for more than a decade, and three of its five albums have hit No. 1 on the country charts.

Hits: Little Big Town's latest album, “Tornado,” reached No. 1 on the country charts, as did its previous record, “The Reason Why.” Popular songs include “Pontoon,” “Little White Church,” “Bring It On Home” and “Boondocks.”

Line that sums it all up: “I'm proud of where I came from; I was born and raised in the boondocks.” Again, unapologetically country.

7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31: Megan Ruger opens for Foreigner.

Badger High School graduate Megan Ruger is the local girl who made it big. She has performed on TV's “American Idol” and “The Voice,” and she is now living and working in Nashville, Tennessee.

Although Ruger stuck mostly to county hits during her TV appearances, she's also willing to belt out rock classics from Guns N' Roses and Alanis Morissette.

Foreigner is a classic rock group that was creating hits long before Ruger was born. Lead vocalist and guitar player Mick Jones is the only founding member still remaining from 1976.

Hits: The group's first six album made it to the Top 10, and the album “4” hit No. 1. Most popular songs: “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” “Double Vision,” “Jukebox Hero” and “Cold as Ice.”

At the Aug. 31 concert, the Big Foot High School Choir will perform with Foreigner on the song “I Want To Know What Love Is.”

Line that sums it all up: “So he started rockin', ain't never gonna stop.” Foreigner has been going at it for almost four decades. Rock on.

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