WXBQ Program Director Bill Hagy announces this year's Appalachian Fair lineup Thursday morning at the fairgrounds in Gray. (Madison Mathews/Johnson City Press)
It’s almost fair time in the Tri-Cities.
The 87th annual Appalachian Fair will kick into high gear Aug. 19-24 at the fairgrounds in Gray with a lineup of highly popular music talent, including Florida Georgia Line and Gretchen Wilson.
“Our lineup is just an outstanding lineup. We’ve got these new people in Dustin Lynch and Florida Georgia Line but we also have some older people, too, like Gretchen Wilson and Easton Corbin,” said fair manager Phil Booher.
The lineup was announced Thursday morning at the Appalachian Fairgrounds.
Music on the Main Stage will kick off Aug. 19 with country artist Corbin. Other entertainment includes country artist Dustin Lynch on Tuesday, contemporary Christian music artist Jeremy Camp on Wednesday, Florida Georgia Line on Thursday, Wilson on Friday and bluegrass group Dailey & Vincent on Saturday.
Local radio station WXBQ has once again partnered with the fair, and Program Director Bill Hagy said he was proud of this year’s lineup.
“WXBQ is very proud to be associated with an event like the Appalachian Fair that is celebrating 87 years. Down through the years, the who’s who of country music has performed at the fair. This year’s fair shows a lot of musical diversity with country, contemporary Christian and bluegrass. We are very excited about this year’s talent roster. We feel the fans are in for a great week of country music,” Hagy said.
While the music is certainly a draw for attendees, a fair wouldn’t be a fair without the rides.
Booher said the James H. Drew Exposition will be returning to the fairgrounds with another year of carnival games and rides, including the famous Seattle Wheel.
“They’re bringing a couple of new rides this year. They will be back and they’re one of the top carnivals in the nation,” he said.
Other popular attractions will be making a return this year, including the Chick-fil-A Barnyard Nursery, livestock exhibits, demolition derby, the Little Miss contest and the Fairest of the Fair.
Booher said the fair will also have a few new attractions this year, such as the truck and tractor pull, and competitions, including a battle of the bands, dance competition and a talent show.
For a regional event that has continued to grow for nearly 90 years, Booher said it’s the entertainment that brings people back year after year.
“I think it’s just the camaraderie and the fact that they get to see a lot of people and just have a great time. You can ride the rides, see talent for $8, which is very reasonable,” he said.
Last year, 236,000 attended the fair, and Booher said they are anticipating another huge crowd.
“We’re expecting numbers to be the same, and hopefully up a little bit,” he said.
Advance tickets go on sale July 27. The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets also will be on sale Aug. 18 at the office from 1-7 p.m.
For more information, including a complete schedule of events, visit www.appalachianfair.com.