The Lincoln County Fair Association is ready to put the brand new grandstand to use at the Merrill Festival Grounds during this year’s Lincoln County Fair. Fair Association President Dale Christiansen revealed the lineup for July’s event which includes five days of grandstand entertainment for the first time in five years.
Grandstand Entertainment-All shows start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Admission is $10 per person, $5 for children ages 6-12 and children under 5 are free.
Wednesday, July 20- Sound Exchange
An A-cappella ensemble performing a range of favorites from oldies and classic rock, to country and top 40.
Thursday, July 21- Caroline Kole
An 18-year-old, steadily rising country music performer from Florida who has been performing since age 10. Most recently has been the opening act for Reba McIntyre since 2014.
“Caroline has been noted by the Country Music Association as the young artist to watch,” notes Christiansen. “We were lucky enough to book her while we could still afford her. She’s playing Country Fest this summer and is currently touring all over the country.”
Friday, July 22- Hotel California-Original Eagles Tribute Band
“They sold out the Grand Theater last year and experts tell us if you close your eyes and listen, the lead singer sounds just like Don Henley,” Christiansen said.
Saturday July 23- US FMX National BMX/Moto Cross stunt show
“We are pretty excited about having these guys! Some are the same guys who perform in the X games on ESPN and are from all over the country. I’ve heard some of the stunts they pull include jumps as high as 75-80 feet in the air! It should be a pretty exciting show!” Christiansen noted.
Sunday July 24- LCFA Demolition Derby (6-8 p.m.)
“This is the first year we have the demos since we lost the old grandstand in 2012 and will be the grand finale of our fair festivities this year. We are glad to have the demos back, they were always a fan favorite!” Christiansen said.
*Advanced season passes for all 5 shows will be available soon for $35
Beer tent Lineup-All entertainment begins following the close of grandstand entertainment between 8 and 8:30 p.m. nightly.
Wednesday-Americas Party Band. Local 5 piece band from Merrill playing a mix of Classic Rock, ‘80s and ‘90s.
Friday-Geoff Landon. Country music performer from the Milwaukee area. Has been a fixture of the fair since 2002, according to Christiansen.
Saturday-Hyde. 5 piece Classic Rock band from the Fox Cities. Has played a variety of shows in the Wausau area accompanied by great reviews.
Sunday-Ripple Effect. 3 piece Country and Classic Rock acoustic band from West Allis.
Will play two shows from Noon-5 Saturday and Sunday.
“We are very excited to have a variety of grandstand entertainment for the first time in four years!” Christiansen says with a smile. “Without the grandstand entertainment and demo derbys, it just sort of felt like something was missing, so we are very happy and excited. We are looking forward to the possibility of a roof on the grandstand in the future if and when funding permits, but overall we are thrilled to see progress on the grounds. They have done an excellent job on the grandstand, it’s a beautiful structure which seems to have really energized and re-vitalized a community. We are able to bring some of the best entertainment we have had since 2012 solely because of the grandstand. We couldn’t be happier.”
Due to the added expense of the grandstand entertainment, the fair will not be featuring animal acts this year. However, Grandpa Cratchet’s puppet show will be performing three shows daily in providing positive family friendly messages and lessons for children such as being environmentally friendly and anti-bullying.
Another added feature this year will be a few additional carnival rides on the vacant property of the former Humane Society including an all new “surprise” ride which Christiansen is very excited about.
“I don’t wan’t to go into too much detail but it’s spectacular!” he said. “There is only a couple others like it in the country and I can tell you this, there is no way anyone is going to get me to go on it. But if you’re a thrill seeker, you will love it!”
Additional handicapped parking is also planned for the vacant space with the possibility of additional general parking.