SEMO District Fair announces 2012 event schedule

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A "Redneck Woman" will be joined by an established country hit-maker and a golfer-turned-musician at this year's SEMO District Fair.

Gretchen Wilson

The organization recently released plans for the 2012 event, which includes Gretchen Wilson, Travis Tritt and Colt Ford in the grandstand. Last year, George Jones nearly sold out the 3,500-seat arena, while Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Kennett, Mo., native David Nail drew around 1,800 each.

"It's always an ongoing shopping process to find artists that people want to see, and we think this year's entertainment will bring in a nice audience," fair board president Pete Poe said. "We made sure to get musicians that play to differing demographics so everyone can have a good time, young or old or somewhere in between."

The fair, scheduled from Sept. 8 to 15, will have two tractor pulls on opening day, barrel racing Monday, a dual demolition derby Tuesday and Heartland Idol on Wednesday. The musical acts start Thursday.

"We have a format that seems to work for us and the people of the area, so we like to keep what makes everyone happy," Poe said. "One example is the barrel racing event. It was new last year and we got a big response with it, so we kept it for this year. And everyone loves the opening day tractor pulls with all the noise and excitement."

Colt Ford

The grandstand music kicks off Sept. 13 with Gretchen Wilson, whose single "Redneck Woman" spent six weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts and whose first three albums each sold more than 5 million copies. She has won several awards for her music, including a Grammy and ACM, CMA and AMA nods for best female vocalist.

Country superstar Travis Tritt will take the stage Sept. 14. Tritt has seven albums certified platinum, and has charted more than 50 times with five No. 1 singles. He has also received two Grammys and four CMA awards, and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1992.

Colt Ford, who will perform Sept. 15, is a country musician and former professional golfer with three albums and four charted singles under his belt. His style is commonly described as a mix of Southern charm, country living and urban style. He has also written a theme song for the Professional Bull Riders Association.

Travis Tritt

Poe expects fair attendance to match numbers for previous years, which hovered around 100,000, and is hoping the organization's social media experience will extend its reach around the area.

"We've been using things like Facebook for a little while now, and it seems to have more of an effect each year," Poe said. "We really feel like we set up an exciting and interesting week this year, and hopefully that's what the community's opinion is, too."

Tickets for all events will go on sale July 24 at the fair office, or by calling 334-9250 or 800-455-3247. For more information, contact the fair office by phone or email at info@semofair.com.

jsamons@semissourian.com

388-3641

Pertinent address:

Arena Park, Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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