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Fairboard signs country band Lonestar to headline Country Energy Fest

By Carol McIntire

Lonestar coming to Carroll County Fair
The country band Lonestar is scheduled to perform a concert June 1 at the Carroll County Fairgounds as part of a new event known as Country Energy Fest.

There’ s excitement in the voices of Carroll County Ag Society (Fairboard) members when they talk about their newest project – a Country Energy Fest- and the country band that will kick off the inaugural event.

The project will combine a ribs burn-off with a concert June 1 at the county fairgrounds.

“People have asked us the last couple years to have a big-name entertainer at the county fair,” said Tammy Sanderson, fairboard secretary. “With the cost of getting a big name entertainer, we don’t have enough parking available during the fair to pay the contract price so we opted to have it before the fair. As we discussed the idea, the board felt it would be the perfect opportunity to bring back the ribs burn-off, which was a very popular event.”

The enthusiasm builds as they talk about the band they have under contract to perform an 8:30 p.m. show that night: the nationally acclaimed country band Lonestar.

“We were very lucky to get them under contract,” said Wes Frew, Junior Fair coordinator for the Ag Society and a member of the Facilities Improvement Committee (FIC), who is helping plan the festival. The band reunited with lead singer Richie McDonald in 2012 and began touring that year, which was the 20th anniversary of the band’s forming.

Lonestar, a Texas-based band, has sold in excess of 10 million albums since its national launch in 1995. They released 10 number one hits, some of which include “No News,” “Come Crying to Me,” “Amazed” and “I’m Already There.”

The band won the Country Music Association Vocal Group of the Year award in 2001.

In 2007, McDonald left the band for a solo career. The group released a new single, “The Countdown,” in July 2012 and has plans to release a new album this year.

Tickets are expected to go on sale in early April through the fairboard’s new website, countryenergyfest.com. Ticket prices are expected to range in price from $16 to $26.

In order to help defray costs associated with the concert, the fairboard is offering five levels of sponsorship for the event. They include the $15,000 Diamond Level, $5,000 Platinum Level, $2,500 Gold Level, $1,000 Silver Sponsorship and $600 Banner Level. Each level comes with a different set of perks that accompanies it. Sponsors will have the opportunity to set up displays under the grandstand during the event.

For information on sponsorship, contact Frew at 234-521-3909 or Sanderson at 330-627-4500.  

Frew and the FIC are organizing the ribs burn-off. They are looking for a maximum of 12 ribs burners to participate.

“The idea is to offer the spots to Carroll County businesses and organizations to help them promote themselves,” Frew said. “If we don’t come up with 12 locally, we will open it to vendors in adjacent counties.”

Competition categories include best sauce in restaurant and civic divisions (judged by an official judge) and people’s choice, judged by the attendees. Trophies will be presented to the top three in each category.

The burn-off will be held from noon until 9 p.m. and will include entertainment by local bands on the midway area.

Anyone interested in participating in the burn-off should contact Frew

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