Little Big Town
By Kim Brooks, Express Editor
Sheryl Crow. Motley Crue. Keith Urban. Toby Mac. What do all these big-name entertainment acts have in common?
They are all headlining at this year’s Great Jones County Fair and Food Fest!
After last year’s record-breaking numbers in attendance, not to mention major music acts, you must be asking yourself, “How can the Jones County Fair compete with that?”
Well, this year the fair is moving “Onward and Upward,” as their slogan suggests. Things can only get better from here!
The fair kicks off on Tuesday, July 16, with the Sneak-A-Peak night. Admission is free at the gate.
The two big events on Tuesday are the Motocross and the crowning of the 2013 Jones County Fair Queen at approximately 6:30 p.m.
Also throughout the day, the 4-H and FFA kids will be busy prepping and checking their animals in for the various animal-judging shows.
The official start to the Great Jones County Fair is Wednesday, July 17. Highlights include the East Central Iowa Pullers Association Tractor Pull at 11 a.m. The finals in the truck and tractor pull take to the track at 7 p.m.
The 4-H and FFA shows Wednesday include the Sheep Show, Bucket/Bottle Calf Show, Dairy Cattle Show, Goat Show and the Rabbit Show.
The entertainment on the big stage starts on Thursday, July 18, with Sheryl Crow and special guest Gary Allan at 8 p.m.
Crow’s career spans two decades, with chart-topping pop hits in the 1990s and 2000s. Now, she’s entering the country music genre, and ready to share her new album, “Feels Like Home,” with her fans.
Opening for Crow is country music hit-maker Gary Allan. He alone can headline a concert!
When the announcement was made in January of Crow and Allan’s concert, Jones County Fair Manager John Harms said, “She (Crow) has lots of songs people recognize. But now she’s making her formal transition into country music.”
Other activities taking place on Thursday include: the Swine Show, Cat Show and Other Animal Show.
Friday night’s rock night is expected to be unlike any show you’ve seen here before. Opening the concert is Tesla, with bad boys of heavy metal, Motley Crue headlining the night. This show was announced to the public in March. At that time, Harms said of Motley Crue, “They are entertaining from a show production standpoint.”
Another popular event at the GJCF taking place on Friday afternoon at noon is harness racing. The 4-H and FFA shows that day are the Beef Show and Poultry Show.
Saturday night’s entertainment line-up is for sure a crowd-pleaser with not one, but two, major country acts: Little Big Town and Keith Urban! Opening the show at 7:30 p.m. will be Dustin Lynch, Little Big Town to follow with Keith Urban headlining.
Harms encourages everyone to pack the park that evening. Whether you have a track ticket, an amphitheater ticket or have the perfect spot on the free hillside, this could be a record-breaking GJCF event!
Tickets for this show went on sale on Black Friday in November and were an instant must-have item! To add to the excitement, Monticello, Iowa, was added to Keith Urban’s official summer tour, “Light the Fuse.”
Stock car races also take place on Saturday, starting at 11 a.m. on the track. The Poultry Show and Kiddie Beef Show are also scheduled.
To round out a busy week at the fair, make plans to attend the demolition derby at noon, on Sunday, July 21, with a great night of Christian music that evening starting at 7 p.m.
Headlining will be Toby Mac, with Monticello’s very own Tim Rosenau on trumpet, guitar and vocals.
When Toby Mac was announced in March, Harms said, “The band spurred my interest because of Tim Rosenau. It’s overwhelming to know someone who made it this big and is a hometown guy.” Harms said he saw Toby Mac perform at the Iowa State Fair last year and was instantly amazed at their stage presence.
“It’s a special deal to have him (Rosenau) come and perform here,” Harms said of the opportunity for all those involved. “I hope people understand what he’s achieved in his music profession.”
As always, each night after the concerts, there will be a great fireworks extravaganza. The carnival rides will be running for those of all ages to enjoy throughout the midway.
Something new this year is the Kids’ Zone, which will be located in the Open Exhibit Hall. Sponsored by UnityPoint Health Jones Regional Medical Center, there will be educational sessions daily inside to keep kids occupied and entertained. Some of the highlights will include: a corn box, a giant sand box, a LEGO center, face painting, balloon creations and arts and crafts.
In the past, the 4-H projects were always located inside the Berndes Center. With the addition of the new Citizens State Bank Youth Development Center, the 4-H clubs will be able to display their projects inside the Expo Hall.
“This is the new home of the 4-H,” Harms said during the fair’s kick-off event on June 12. The 4-H food stand will also be inside the air-conditioned building. “It’ll be an active place to be,” added Harms.
This move will allow for more commercial exhibits inside the Berndes Center.
The open exhibits will also be moved into the Berndes Center meeting room.
It seems the GJCF can’t go by without some weather-related issue. To keep fair-goers and everyone safe while at the fair, an emergency weather preparedness plan was put in place. Watch for colored flags scattered about the fairgrounds to determine the severity of the situation. A green flag indicates good weather. A yellow flag indicates a weather advisory is in place; and a red flag means there is a weather warning in effect.
As always, there will be plenty to see and do during this year’s GJCF, July 17-21!