Spencer County Fair kicks off this Friday

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By Cathy Barnes

This year’s concert performance for the Spencer County Fair will bring home a Taylorsville native from the recording studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

J.D. Shelburne will return to perform at the Spencer County Fair this Friday.

Shelburne, who began playing guitar six years ago and won the Spencer County Fair Coca Cola Youth Challenge, has quickly found his place in the country music scene. He recently finished recording his first album, “The Real Thing” and hopes to sign with a record company in the near future. Until then, he’ll be busy performing at venues all over the state.

Besides his performance at the county fair, he says he has “tons of gigs lined up after this” and is “booked solid until October.”

Those planning to attend can expect a style of music that is a bit different from the average country singer.

“I like to call it southern rock mixed with main stream country. If you put Keith Urban and Sawyer Brown in a blender, you would probably pour me out,” Shelburne said.

Dwight Martin, president of the Spencer County Fair Board said that Spencer County does not historically support musical events but hopes that a local talent will draw enough people to support the event.

Billy Curtsinger will be opening for Shelburne beginning at 8 p.m., with the main event taking the stage around 8:30 p.m.. Shelburne said he expects to play for two to three hours.

Those who attend are encouraged to bring a lawn chair as seating is limited.

In addition to the the country music concert, there will also be a horse pull and a cornhole tournament on the same night. The horse pull has been scheduled for the third week in July for over 50 years and draws people from several states including Pennsylvania and New York. Around 800 to 900 people usually show for this event.

The admission price of $10  covers all these events and entrance is free for children 6 and under.

The price raise from $8 in previous years is due to state budget cuts according to Martin.

“We’ve been the cheapest fair around for the past few years and we kept the price at $8 for as long as we could,” Martin said.

But even with the price raise, Martin maintains that the fair is the cheapest night of entertainment you can get anywhere.

Spectators are encouraged to return for Saturday evening events, including the Coca Cola Youth Challenge, antique tractor pull, talent show, swine show and continuing horse pull.

The schedule of events for the fair spans two weeks this year as part of an effort to keep the same ride company, Paradise Amusements. As a result, rides will not be offered the first weekend and are scheduled to come the following weekend from July 28 - Aug. 1. Rides will run from 6 p.m -11 p.m.


Spencer County Fair Schedule of Events

 Gate Admission $10.00

Includes all Events and Rides

Everyone pays gate admission


No Rides July 17th & 18th

Friday, July 17

 7 p.m.  cornhole tournament (P)

7:30 p.m.  Horse Pull (T)

8 p.m. J.D. Shelburne Concert (MA)

Saturday, July 18

 6 p.m.  Antique Tractor Pull (CKAP) (R)

7 p.m.  Swine Show (R/B)

7 p.m. Coca Cola® Youth Talent Show (P)

7:30 p.m. Horse Pull (T)