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Saturday, August 10th, 2019

'The party's here'

Vassar, Montgomery bring high-energy performances to fair

By Colin Foster

Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry performs Friday night in the grandstands a. . .

CELINA - "The party's here, baby," Eddie Montgomery of Montgomery Gentry told the crowd as he walked on stage with his band.
One heck of a party it was, too, with a guest list just south of 4,000.
Roughly 91% of the tickets were sold for Friday's Montgomery Gentry-Phil Vassar show at the Mercer County Fairgrounds, a fair official said before the show.
Beachballs bounced around the crowd; a lot of beer was sold; hundreds of phone flashlights came out during Montgomery's "Roll with Me" tribute to his fallen bandmate Troy Gentry, who died in a 2017 helicopter crash; and many, many hits were played by the featured acts.
Vassar opened the night with a 40-some minute set, which included his own hits and some he helped craft for Jo Dee Messina and Huey Lewis and The News.
Standing behind a piano for much of his set while a member of his band wailed on a saxophone, the Virginia-born Vassar played "Carlene," "Little Red Rodeo" and "Just Another Day in Paradise." He also sang "Six-Pack Summer" while mixing in lyrics from Maurice Williams & the Zodiacs "Stay" and The Four Seasons' "December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night)."
Vassar also rocked the stage with Messina's "Bye Bye" and "I'm Alright," which he wrote for the singer, before wrapping up his performance with another song he helped create, Huey Lewis' "Workin' for a Livin.' "
Then Montgomery, the self-proclaimed "Hillbilly from Kentucky," hopped on stage and ratcheted up the party.
He told stories about his songs, most of them involving Jim Beam, played new music from the album "Here's to You" - which included "Drink Along Song" and "King of the World" - while also delivering on Montgomery Gentry's hits as promised.
Montgomery's band also featured a hometown connection as Jimma Matejek, married to Celina alumni Jessica King, was on stage wearing a Bulldog baseball cap and playing guitar.
They played "Where I Come From," "Hell Yeah," "My Town," the Grammy-nominated "Lucky Man" and "Something to be Proud Of."
The show was definitely something to be proud of for Mercer County, fair royalty Tyler Applegate said.
Applegate, a 2019 Marion Local graduate, was with his friends at the show after being crowned second runner-up in the Junior Fair King and Queen contest. He said Friday's musical party was one of the best.
"This is probably one of the better shows we've ever had," Applegate said. "Overall, I think Mercer County does good with their ability to get concerts, especially just to get people here to experience it. It's just probably one of the best concert environments you can come to."

Mercer County Fair schedule:
Today
• 8 a.m. - gates open; poultry show and showmanship at the Adrian Debrosse Arena
• 9 a.m. - county horseshoe pitch class C and D; swine hurdle showmanship at the Coldwater Young Farmers Arena
• 10 a.m. - baby contest, 13-18 months, at the entertainment tent
• 11 a.m. - baby contest, 9-12 months, at the entertainment tent; Show Me Safari; horse pleasure, versatility and English show at the horse arena
• 11 a.m.-5 p.m. - Jimmy Riffle of Gator Boys
• noon - registration deadline for little miss/mister contest; safety show at the track infield
• 1 p.m. - rides and games open; county horseshoe tournament class A and B; Show Me Safari; baby contest, 4-8 months, at the entertainment tent
• 2 p.m. - 21st annual pie contest at the junior fair tent
• 3 p.m. - Show Me Safari
• 4 p.m. - pie auction at the junior fair tent; Mercer County Fair Princess contest, ages 19 months to 2 years, at the entertainment tent; Wee Miss Mercer County Fair contest, ages 3-7 at the entertainment tent
• 5 p.m. - Show Me Safari; market lamb and sheep breeding show at the Coldwater Young Farmers Arena
• 6 p.m. - third annual poster show at the entertainment tent
• 6:30 p.m. - peewee showmanship at the dairy building
• 7 p.m. - Crowder with special guest We are Messengers at the grandstands; dairy showmanship at the Adrian Debrosse Arena
• 8 p.m. - Kevin and the Others at the Beer Garden
• 9 p.m. - Show Me Safari

Sunday
• 8 a.m. - gates open
• 8:30 a.m. - open horse contesting show at the horse arena
• 9 a.m. - invitational horseshoe pitch round robin tournament class B and C
• 9:30 a.m. - patriotic rosary at the entertainment tent
• 10:30 a.m. - nondenominational church service at the entertainment tent
• 11 a.m. - Show Me Safari; market rabbits weigh-in at the rabbit barn
• noon - sheep showmanship at the Coldwater Young Farmers Arena
• noon-6 p.m. - Jimmy Riffle of "Gator Boys"
• 12:30 p.m. - harness racing at the grandstands; rabbit market pens and showmanship at the Adrian Debrosse Arena
• 1 p.m. - games and rides open; Immaculate Conception Praise Group at the entertainment tent; Show Me Safari
• 1:30 p.m. - invitational horseshoe pitch round robin tournament class A; sheep peewee showmanship; open market lamb at the Coldwater Young Farmers Arena after junior showmanship
• 2 p.m. - Grand Lake United Methodist Church Praise Band at the entertainment tent; medieval costume judging for kids at the junior fair tent
• 2:30 p.m. - open breeding sheep show at the Coldwater Young Farmers Arena
• 3 p.m. - Kingdom Harvest Ministries at the entertainment tent; Show Me Safari
• 4 p.m. - Jane Stachler religious experience at the entertainment tent
• 5 p.m. - Malachi Jaggers at the entertainment tent; Show Me Safari; Broer breeding and market goat showmanship at the Coldwater Young Farmers Arena
• 5:30 p.m. - modeling revue practice at the junior fair tent
• 6:30 p.m. - open dairy at the Adrian Debrosse Arena; medieval horse races for children at the grandstands; Cloverbud, foods and special-interest modeling revue at the junior fair tent
• 7 p.m. - Knights of Valour Full-Contact Jousting at the grandstands
• 7:30 p.m. - Celina High School Dance and Cheer Team performance at the entertainment tent; clothing modeling revue at the junior fair tent
• 8 p.m. - Reflektion at the beer garden
• 9 p.m. - Show Me Safari

Monday
• 8 a.m. - gates open
• 9 a.m. - swine show at the Coldwater Young Farmers Arena
• 10:30 a.m. - nursing home lunch and activities at the entertainment tent
• 1 p.m. - kids' Jeopardy sponsored by the Coldwater Explorers 4-H Club at the junior fair tent; Show Me Safari
• 2 p.m. - floral judging (second show); Rock Island Plow at the entertainment tent
• 3 p.m. - K-9 demonstration at the junior fair tent; Show Me Safari
• 4 p.m. - rides and games open; Rock Island Plow at the entertainment tent
• 4:30 p.m. - dairy goat and other non-market breeds show and showmanship at the Coldwater Young Farmers Arena
• 6 p.m. - crowning of species royalty at the junior fair tent
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