As 2015 draws to a close, the Elkhart County 4-H Fair Board is hard at work on next summer’s fair, starting with the first three names announced for the 2016 grandstand concert series: Foreigner, Trace Adkins and Chris Janson.
The fair’s big shows kick off Saturday, July 23, with Foreigner, the British-American rock band that is one of the “Greatest of All Time” groups according to Billboard magazine. With ten multi-platinum albums and sixteen Top 30 hits, Foreigner is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world with a formidable musical arsenal that continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales, now exceeding 75 million. Responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems — including “Juke Box Hero,” “Feels Like The First Time,” “Urgent,” “Head Games,” “Hot Blooded,” “Cold as Ice,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Waiting For A Girl Like You,” and the worldwide No. 1 hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is” — Foreigner continues to rock the charts more than thirty years into the game, with their songs reaching soundtracks for movies and games in the 2000s.
Trace Adkins was unable to come to the fair in 2015, but the country superstar’s fans will get the chance to see his return to the grandstand stage Monday, July 25. His trademark baritone has powered hits to the top of the charts and sold more than 10 million albums. His hit list includes “You’re Gonna Miss This,” “Ladies Love Country Boys,” “Songs About Me,” “Every Light In The House,” “Hillbilly Bone (Blake Shelton & Trace Adkins),” and “Just Fishin’” to name a few. The Grammy-nominated member of the Grand Ole Opry is a TV personality, actor, author, spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Program and the American Red Cross, for whom he raised more than $1.5 million dollars as winner of NBC’s All-Star “Celebrity Apprentice.” In recent years, Adkins has performed 10 USO Tours.
In his 2007 autobiography, A Personal Stand: Observations and Opinions from a Freethinking Roughneck, the former oil-rigger recounted his rise to fame, brushes with death, and battles with personal demons. Trace has played a tough as nails biker in “The Lincoln Lawyer” (starring Matthew McConaughey), and a wise oracle of a tattoo artist in the family-friendly film “Moms’ Night Out” (starring Patricia Heaton, Sean Astin and Sarah Drew). He also developed and hosted GAC’s “Great American Heroes” honoring every-day heroes.
Tuesday, July 26, rising country star Chris Janson will be the fair’s spotlight artist. Janson made headlines when “his song “Buy Me A Boat” quickly landed at #1 on the iTunes Country chart and #7 on the all genre chart. In addition, “Chris Janson” trended in the Top 10 as superstars Toby Keith, Brad Paisley and Nashville’s Charles “Chip” Esten where abuzz on Twitter about the catchy tune. With undeniable charisma, Janson brings a blue-collar, working-class, boot-stomping hillbilly swagger to bear on every live performance, earning him opening slots for Florida Georgia Line, music legends Merle Haggard and Hank Williams Jr. The Perryville, Mo., native recently stood on the Ryman Auditorium stage in Nashville, opening for legend Merle Haggard for a two-night, sold-out stint.
As always, grandstand seating for the shows will be free on a first-come, first-served basis. Reserved track seats will go on sale May 21 at www.4hfair.org. The reserved track seats for each show will be $35, and that doesn’t include fair admission.
The fair board is still working on concerts for Sunday, July 24, and Wednesday, July 27, and will announce those at a later date.
The 2016 Elkhart County 4-H Fair, “Let’s Pull Together for 4-H,” runs July 22-30.