POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Fair is about a month away and its newly revamped main stage will welcome some major entertainers to perform for fair goers this year.
Fair Entertainment Chairman Brian Billings has announced a lineup which includes something for everyone – from southern gospel, to a Shania Twain tribute artist, to country stars Confederate Railroad and Darryl Worley, and legendary hit makers, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers.
The fair, which is also the largest county fair in the state of West Virginia, is Aug. 8-13. The following is a breakdown of each night’s fair entertainment.
Tuesday, Aug. 9 will welcome not one, but two nationally known gospel groups with the Jim Brady Trio going on at 7:30 p.m. followed by Among the Thirsty at 9 p.m.
“One of America’s fastest rising trios in Southern Gospel Music, the Jim Brady Trio will grace the new Mason County Fair stage at 7:30 p.m. with a powerful message through their music,” Billings said. “This award winning trio will be a blessing to all that hear them. If you follow southern gospel music then you know their story and how they embarked on a journey to serve and minister across our great land. Among the Thirsty performs at 9 p.m. and they are an American contemporary Christian music and worship band. This contemporary group has music chart on various Christian song charts published by Billboard magazine.”
Billings added, over the past several years many throughout the area have requested contemporary Christian music.
Wednesday, Aug. 10 will welcome a tribute act for one of the biggest names in country and popular music. Shania Twin, a Shania Twain tribute artist, will take the main fair stage at 9 p.m. to entertain audiences.
“After meeting with an agent in the music business and after listening to her sing, and not to mention her uncanny resemblance to one of country music’s most beautiful and successful women, it was obvious that this lady was to embark on something that would change her life forever. Look out Mason County, you will feel as though you are watching the real Shania Twain,” Billings said of the Canada native. “They worked putting a band together, practicing for a few months, and the rest is history. She has been traveling on the road since March of 1996 as the most successful tribute act in Canada and throughout the United States and Europe. Even Shania Twain had commented that after seeing a poster of her, ‘I thought it was me.’ She is the best Shania Twain Tribute out there.”
Thursday, Aug. 11 brings the popular country group, Confederate Railroad to the fair’s main stage with the concert starting at 9 p.m.
“Few acts have carved as distinctive a niche in modern musical history as Confederate Railroad,” Billings said. “With their high-energy combination of honky-tonk rockers, sensitive ballads, and offbeat humor, they have created a unique identity that has brought them chart success, multi-platinum sales, and continued popularity. Songs like ‘Queen of Memphis,’ and ‘Trashy Women,’ along with ‘Jesus and Mama,’ and ‘Daddy Never was the Cadillac Kind,’ became major hits and established Confederate Railroad as a key part of country music’s landscape during the genre’s expansion of the 1990’s. We’ve waited a long time to have this multi-talented group with us. The accolades kicked off with the Academy of Country Music’s Best New Group award in 1993 and have included a Grammy nomination, and a host of nominations from the Country Music Association and the British Country Music Foundation.”
On Friday, Aug. 12, country star Darryl Worley returns to the Mason County Fair for a concert which starts at 9 p.m. on the main stage. Worley last played the fair in 2001.
“There are many things that Darryl Worley has come to know in his long career in country music,” Billings said. “One of those things is how to recognize a hit song, scoring nearly 20 hit singles and three chart-topping hits with the self-penned ‘Awful, Beautiful Life’ and the poignant ‘Have You Forgotten,’ which spent an astonishing seven weeks at number one as well as ‘I Miss My Friend.’ Worley, also recognizes the importance of giving back every opportunity that he can through his annual charities and has spent much of his career giving back to the men and women overseas doing their job to keep our country safe.”
On Saturday, Aug. 13, this year’s entertainment headliner, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, will take the stage on the last night of the fair at 9 p.m. for a much anticipated concert.
“One of country music’s most recognizable names ‘Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers’ will appear on Saturday, the final day of the 2016 Mason County Fair,” Billings said. “The Gatlin’s have been dazzling audiences since 1975. By 1976, the Gatlin Brothers were in the fast lane, thanks to the chart-topping success of the Grammy-winning ‘Broken Lady.’ The hits continued throughout the rest of the decade, with seven more number one songs like, ‘I Don’t Wanna Cry; I Just Wish You Were Someone I Love; Statues Without Hearts; Love Is Just A Game; All The Gold In California; Houston (Means I’m More Day Closer To You); Night Time Magic.’”
Billings added this trio has been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, nominated for awards by the Country Music Association, the Academy of Country Music and Music City News Awards, along with others.
“You will truly be entertained by Larry, Steve and Rudy,” Billings said.
As always, the main stage is home to the Mason County Fair Queen Contest on Monday, Aug. 8. The popular pageant starts at 8 p.m.
Reach Beth Sergent at [email protected] or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.