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Freeborn fair goes country

For the first time in a few years, performers at the Freeborn County Fair Grandstand this summer will be all country.

The Freeborn County Fair Board this week announced the lineup for the 2012 Grandstand entertainment, which includes Charley Pride and Lonestar. Like in years past, there will be a show Tuesday through Saturday night of the fair, July 31-Aug. 4.

The following is a brief description of the lineup:

• Opening on Tuesday, July 31, will be songwriter Colt Ford, who has teamed up with Brantley Gilbert and Jason Aldean.

According to his website, Ford is an Academy of Country Music Award nominee known for his style of rhythmic sing-speak.

• On Wednesday, Aug. 1, up-and-coming country singer-songwriter Kip Moore, a Georgia native, will perform. Moore’s music is classified as hypnotic and edgy, combining a raw and rustic voice with compelling lyrics of honesty.

• On Thursday, Aug. 2, country husband-and-wife duo Thompson Square, who has been touring with Lady Antebellum, is slated to perform.

• On Friday, Aug. 3, country legend Charley Pride will sing. Pride is the best-selling performer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley.

With 36 No. 1 hits, he is one of the Top 20 best-selling country music artists of all-time and has been the only black country musician to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.

• On Saturday, American country music group Lonestar will perform.

First formed in 1992, the group may be most known for its hit singles “Amazed,” “I’m Already There,” “Smile” and “My Front Porch Looking In.” Lonestar performed in November for troops at Camp Buehring in Kuwait, where Albert Lea’s Delta Company of the Minnesota National Guard is stationed.

Reserve tickets for the shows go on sale at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the fair office for $25 per seat per show.

General admission will be $9 to the fair, with the unreserved seating to the Grandstand on a first-come, first-served basis, as in previous years.

Mike Woitas with the Freeborn County Fair Board said during the last couple of years, the fair board has tried bringing in an alternative rock group on the Saturday nights of the fair, but financially it didn’t pan out this year.

“Costs continued to rise for those alternative groups,” Woitas said. “It didn’t draw what we thought it would.”

The fair office can be reached at 507-373-6965.