The snow is finally melting and spring is officially only a couple days away.
"You may not be thinking about the Tillsonburg Fair," said Mike Dean, president of the Tillsonburg Tri-County Fair. "But we are!"
"We're working feverishly," nodded Fair director Frank Kempf.
"We've got new people, new ideas, and a new midway," said Dean. "We're totally restructuring the way the Fair works and operates, where we are trying to give the community what the community wants, thanks to a lot of support from people that commented on Tillsonburg Fair Improvement on Facebook started by Bonnie Schram. If you have an idea or comment go to Tillsonburg Fair Improvements. Every idea is looked at, and if there is merit to it, we're going to try it.
"It's a whole new approach," he added, speaking on behalf of the fair board, stressing teamwork and support from the community in making a better fair for everyone.
The 'voice' of the fair board was pleased to announce this week the headlining entertainment for the 2015 Tillsonburg Fair.
"Speaking of the voice," Dean smiled, "we have James David Carter, from The Voice. Check out his YouTube videos – you will be hooked."
Eleven million viewers tuned in to The Voice (2014) on NBC, when the Atlanta, Georgia country music artist reached the live performance stage before bowing out of the reality singing competition. Earlier in the show he went head-to-head against the eventual winner, Craig Wayne Boyd, in a 'battle round'... and won after Wave on Wave.
"He was on Team Blake," Kempf noted. "This song – Nobody Knows – has more than one million hits on YouTube. And that's not including all his other songs.
"They have him rated the Top 10 in new upcoming US artists in country music."
The idea this year was to get an act on the upswing – before they peak. They got it in James David Carter, who is recording new material this year.
"We want great live entertainment – great live entertainers. James David Carter, he's already there," said Kempf. "And we can say they've been to Tillsonburg."
TICKETS IN APRIL
Tickets are expected to go on sale the first week of April. Details on admission pricing in the Kinsmen Memorial Arena – similar to last year's wildly successful Aaron Pritchett show – will be announced soon.
Last year's Pritchett concert was a learning experience, said Dean.
"We've trimmed it (overhead) down a little bit – but we still have the big stage, the lights, the sound, and the entertainer."
"It's going to be the same setup as last year," Kempf nodded. "As well as the beer garden."
Tickets – about 1,300 in total – will be sold at various local businesses, including restaurants and bars.
"Probably about 25 local places here in town, and in the area," said Dean. "We're keeping it local. We didn't have a lot of online sales last year."
"Everyone's excited to be selling tickets for it," said Kempf.
There will be two opening acts for James David Carter – both from Ottawa. Levi Hart, who has opened for Kid Rock, and Sandi Skye, who released Country Groove in 2014 with a unique 'country rocking' sound.
"Levi's another high energy performer," said Kempf. "Sandi just got back from Nashville, recording."
Both country musicians have been described as 'artists on the rise.'
This year's Tillsonburg Fair concert is Saturday, August 15th. Kempf said the goal is to sell out by June.
"I'd like to have them all sold by June... then we can concentrate on the rest of the fair."
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