‘Magic’ Fair offers country, rock, comedy

The 2010 Linn County Fair opens Thursday, July 15, with a line-up of country and pop musical headliners and a wide variety of entertainment for all ages, including a grilling contest, a coloring contest and an Ugliest Dog Pageant.

This year’s theme is “There’s Magic in the Fair.” The Fair runs from July 15-18 and also features a carnival, Red Canoe Family Land, 4-H and FFA exhibits, Car Show in the Park, Antique Tractor Show, Commercial Booths, Bull Bash and Wild and Wooly activities.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Headliners are Sawyer Brown at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Gin Blossoms with The Rembrandts at 8:30 p.m. Friday, Grand Funk Railroad with Brooke White at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and the comedian Gallagher at 5 p.m. Sunday. Shows are free with gate admission, but reserved seating tickets for the concerts include free Fair admission.

Fair admission is $5 for children 6-12 and seniors 60 and over, and $7 for adults. Season passes and 4H/FFA passes are also available. Parking is $3. Seniors get in free until 3 p.m. on Thursday, families are free until 3 p.m. on Friday and military personnel with ID are free on Sunday with paid parking.

Sawyer Brown is known for hits such as “Step that Step,” “Betty’s Bein’ Bad” and “The Dirt Road.” The band has been topping the charts for over 20 years. They were originally discovered on the TV talent show “Star Search,” a precursor to “American Idol” and “America’s Got Talent.”

Sawyer Brown has also had hits with George Jones’ “The Race is On” and Dave Dudley’s trucker rally cry “Six Days on the Road.” Reserved seating tickets are $20.

Gin Blossoms, an alternative rock band formed in 1987, in Arizona, broke up after releasing three albums, but reunited in 2002. Gin Blossoms’ hits include “Found Out About You,” “Hey Jealousy,” “Till I Hear From You” and “Learning the Hard Way.”

Opening for Gin Blossoms is The Rembrandts, a pop-rock band best known for its song “I’ll Be There for You,” which was used as the theme song for the television sitcom “Friends.” Show reserved-seat tickets are $20.

Grand Funk Railroad was a top band during the 1970s, selling more than 25 million records, toured constantly, packing arenas worldwide, and receiving four RIAA gold albums during 1970€”the most for any American group that year. The band is best known for several top-10 singles from the mid-70s, “We’re An American Band,” “The Loco-Motion,” “Some Kind of Wonderful” and “Bad Time.”

Brooke White, who will open the performance, was the fifth-place finisher on “American Idol” in its seventh season, 2008. Her first post-“Idol” album, “High Hopes and Heartbreak,” was released July 21, 2009. The first single, “Hold Up My Heart” was debuted at No. 47 on the Billboard Hot 100. Tickets are $20.

Gallagher, a prop comic most popularly known for smashing watermelons as part of his act, was one of the most popular and recognizable American comedians during the early 1980s. He is best known for his “Sledge-O-Matic” routine, in which he uses a large wooden mallet to smash a wide variety of objects, from computer keyboards to containers of cottage cheese and, most famously, watermelons. Show attendees in the first two or three rows are usually provided with plastic sheeting for protection, and many fans bring their own additional protection (raincoats, umbrellas, and so on).

Tickets for his show are $15.

Other acts featured in this year’s Fair include the Mother Goose variety show, Steve the Pretty Good magician, comedians Brothers from Different Mothers, Jest in Time comedy and variety show, JD Platt K9 Kings dog tricks exhibition, a Guitar Hero competition, Super Science interactive displays, a reptile exhibition, a petting zoo, and giant inflatable toys.

Arena activities include: barrel racing from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday; bull riding from noon to 4 p.m. Friday; Wild ‘n’ Wooly, featuring mutton bustin’ mini bulls and bucking ponies from noon to 4 on Saturday; and team roping on Sunday.

Other attractions include vendor booths and displays, competition displays, the Ugliest Dog contest at 2 p.m. Friday, the livestock auction at 3 p.m. Saturday, which will include animals shown by more than a dozen local youths, and the Painted Hills Grilling contest judging and awards Sunday from 1:30 p.m. to approximately 4 p.m.

For more information, visit http://www.linncountyfair.com.