CLEARFIELD – Grandstand stage and other entertainment has been finalized for the 159th Clearfield County Fair, which will take place July 28 through Aug 3.
Fair & Park Board Manager Greg Hallstrom made the announcement during a press conference Thursday morning at the Agricultural Building at the Clearfield County Fairgrounds.
On July 30, Christian Music Night will feature four area bands: A Day Awaits, Heavenbound, Reach the Masses and Bema. Track, bleacher and grandstand tickets will be just $5.
Hallstrom said there wasn’t a real large pool to choose from and because some national acts didn’t want to be under the “Christian,” label, they sought out groups from around central Pennsylvania instead.
“Come out, bring your family or a friend. It’s a completely different atmosphere … you really feel [that sense of community] during Christian Music Night,” said Publicity Director Rachel Davidson.
“Though we couldn’t pull off a national act, we still wanted to keep that night because we do know how important it is to our local [faith-based] community.”
Rising country music artists Chase Rice and Devin Dawson will hit the stage July 31, and tickets for this will be $40 for the track and bleachers and $37 for the grandstand.
Aug. 2 will feature something new with a trio of tribute bands – Zep Leppard (Led Zeppelin and Def Leppard), Simply Queen (Queen) and Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi). Track, bleacher and grandstand tickets will be $20.
“We’re really excited about it … with the hype of Bohemian Rhapsody and being able to get a Queen tribute band,” Hallstrom said.
“And we’ve heard for years: ‘get Def Leppard, get Def Leppard.’ We can’t afford Def Leppard, but we got the next best thing.”
And then Kansas, one of America’s iconic classic rock bands, will close out the week Aug. 3 with its first-ever appearance at the fair. Track, bleacher and grandstand tickets will be $35.
Following with tradition, the annual Fair Queen Competition will be July 28, the Fireman’s Parade with fireworks will be July 29 and the Full Pull Productions Truck & Tractor Pulls will be Aug. 1.
Prior to the announcement, Hallstrom went over the process for booking the grandstand entertainment. He said first, they try to find artists who will be on the East Coast, which isn’t always easy.
“Price is obviously the next big thing,” he said. “Is it somebody we can afford? [The prices] for some have two commas in them, and it’s just never going to happen in Clearfield.”
He added, “We try to explain to the public how much [artists] cost and nine times out of 10 they don’t believe you … It’s crazy how some are just that out of our league.”
Hallstrom said if the board can afford to book an artist, they put an offer in for them, and usually within 30 or 45 days, it’s either accepted or rejected.
Sometimes artists agree only to turn around and ask for more money, different times, etc. “There are several factors that come into play,” he said.
According to Hallstrom, this year was particularly difficult for the board, which booked popular groups only to cancel because they’ll have shows in Hershey and Pittsburgh around the time of the fair.
For various reasons, he said the board missed out on Greta Van Fleet; Luke Combs; Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle and Three Days Grace; and Alice Cooper with Halestorm.
He said Greta Van Fleet wasn’t booking outdoor shows; Breaking Benjamin, Chevelle and Three Days Grace already had shows in the area; and Alice Cooper/Halestorm couldn’t make the date work.
Lastly, Hallstrom said they were most excited about the possibility of having Five Finger Death Punch with what this group is currently doing with the police, fire departments and armed services.
“We thought it was something we could really build on,” he said, “but it fell through the last minute … so this year it’s not the normal gigantic line-up like we’ve had in the past.”
Tickets will go on sale at 11 a.m. Monday on the fair’s official Web site. Concertgoers can also print off a form and mail their order to the fair office.
Grandstand tickets purchased by midnight May 24 will receive free gate admission. However, the Truck & Tractor Pulls are excluded from this special offer.
Vesper Services will once again be held July 28 at the David H. Litz Grove Stage as part of the opening day of the fair.
Other free stage entertainment will include DJ Super Stew, July 29; Pete the Cat for Kid’s Day and then Heather Olson as Patsy Cline, July 30; Dan & Galla, July 31; The Jess Zimmerman Band (country/rock), Aug. 1; Big Daddy Bangers (rock), Aug. 2; and The Moore Brothers, Aug. 3.
Entertainment in the Expo II Plaza will feature the Royal Hanneford Circus; the Ninja Experience; chainsaw carver Jennifer Black and the Smokey Bear Balloon. Smokey will also make special appearances throughout fair week as part of his 75th anniversary.
Gate admission will remain at $8 per person. Admission will be free for children under 36 inches in height, and a ride band can be purchased for them for $8.
Paid admission includes an all-day ride pass and entertainment on the Grove Stage and in the Expo II Plaza. Harness racing, exhibits, etc. are also included in the admission price.
This year the fair will feature a new carnival, Dreamland Amusements, an East Coast carnival ride company that carries over 45 rides.
The carnival will open in the Midway at 12 p.m. July 29; 10 a.m. July 30 for Kid’s Day at the fair; 12 p.m. from July 31 – Aug. 2; and 10 a.m. Aug. 3.
An advance gate only pass will be available for $5 and a family value pass with six, gate only admissions for $25. Parking and rides will not be included, however.
Fairgoers will be able to order these passes online and by mail on Monday until the ticket office closes July 28 or while supplies last. The ticket office opens July 5 for phone and walk-up orders.