ESCANABA - Country and rock-and-roll fans will be pleased with this year's grandstand entertainment at the U.P. State Fair.
The acts appearing at this year's fair include country star Craig Morgan, rock groups Jackyl and Great White, and country-rock band Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Vickie Micheau, executive director of the Delta County Commerce Center, which serves as managing agency for the U.P. State Fair, announced the lineup today at a reception held at the Island Resort & Casino. This year will mark the fair's 86th anniversary and will take place Aug. 12-18 at the U.P. State Fairgrounds.
Country star Craig Morgan will take center stage on Aug. 14. Morgan, whose career in the country music industry began more than a decade ago, released his latest album "This Ole Boy," with Black River Entertainment in 2012, which marks his seventh studio album. Morgan has toured with the likes of Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, LeAnn Rimes, Brad Paisley and Trace Adkins, and became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2008.
His work includes 14 top 10 hits including the fan-favorites "That's What I Love About Sunday," "Redneck Yacht Club," "Almost Home," "Tough," and "International Harvester."
Rock groups Jackyl and Great White will share the stage on Aug. 15.
Jackyl, which formed in 1991, is credited with bringing rock 'n' roll back to its "down-to-earth, wild, fun-loving origins," according to the group's website. Their self-titled debut album went platinum and featured rock radio hits "Down on Me," "When Will it Rain," and "I Stand Alone." Perhaps their most notable hit song is "The Lumberjack," during which vocalist Jesse James Dupree performed a chain-saw solo. The four-member band currently features Dupree on vocals, Jeff Worley on guitar, Roman Glick on bass, and Chris Worley on drums.
Great White recently celebrated 30 years of rock 'n' roll in 2012 with the release of their 12th studio album "Elation."
The band is best known for its 1989 smash hit "Once Bitten, Twice Shy," and boasts worldwide sales approaching 10 million copies. Other noteworthy songs of theirs are "Rock Me," "Save Your Love," "The Angel Song," and "Mista Bone."
Great White consists of original members Mark Kendall on guitar, Michael Lardie on guitar and keyboard and Audie Desbow on drums, but is joined by lead singer Terry Ilous and bassist Scott Snyder.
The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, comprised of Jeff Hanna, Jimmie Fadden, Bob Carpenter, and John McEuen, will take the stage Aug. 16.
Often cited as influential to country rock and American roots music, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band is best known for a string of top 10 hits including "Fishin' in the Dark" and "Mr. Bojangles," the latter of which was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2010, joining their groundbreaking album "Will the Circle be Unbroken."
New to this year's grandstand entertainment is a hot tub promotion and competition sponsored by National Sales, WLUC TV 6, and the Island Resort & Casino held on opening night Aug. 12. The public can submit a 60 to 120 second video segment performing a song by one of the four main entertainment acts to the U.P. State Fair Facebook page, which is then judged by Facebook users. Entries can be submitted from noon on June 1 to midnight on July 20. The top 10 entries receiving the greatest number of votes will advance to the second round, where they will perform in the grandstand in front of a panel of judges who will select the winning performance. The winner will receive a Health Living HL8 six-person spa valued at $12,500.
Additional grandstand entertainment includes Brew City Wrestling Aug. 13, Upper Peninsula International Raceway (UPIR) Racing on Aug. 17 and a Bump and Run Demolition Derby on Aug. 18.
"The U.P. State Fair continues to be an event that brings families together to experience the very best of the Upper Peninsula," said Micheau. "With seven days of thrilling carnival rides, top-notch grandstand entertainment, agricultural and vendor exhibits and great fair food, there truly is something for everyone's enjoyment at this year's fair."
See tomorrow's edition of the Daily Press for additional fair information and entertainment.