By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD – With live entertainment one of its cornerstones, the Central Wisconsin State Fair (CWSF) is featuring a variety of activities that span musical genres, and feature amusement and spectacle.
Confirmed live music headlines, include: John Michael Montgomery, Night Ranger, and Sawyer Brown.
This year’s entertainment will also feature a high dive act from a 70-foot high platform, performing three shows a day on the week days and four shows on the weekend. This show has never performer in the state of Wisconsin prior to this summer’s show.
The entertainment tent will feature a new kids’ show and a ventriloquist, along with a variety of local talent.
New on the midway is North American Midways Entertainment, which will feature a 100-foot Ferris wheel promising a view of the entire city, along with approximately two dozen rides in a combination of high speed thrill, kids, and family rides.
This year’s fair will run Tuesday through Sunday, August 21-26, moving from its longtime home on Labor Day weekend, with grand stand entertainment each night.
August 21 – Six Appeal
Six Appeal is a vocal ensemble that combines musical prowess and sharp comedic timing, with the energy and vitality of a rock band. The group will take you on a journey that covers multiple decades and genres of music – performing classic oldies, current chart toppers, and catchy original tunes – completely a cappella.
August 22 – John Michael Montgomery
John Michael took a lead singer spot after his parents divorced. He performed in a band called Early Tymz, before Nashville talent scouts began noticing him. By the early 1990s, John Michael had a record deal.
The hits followed steadily, with songs like “Rope The Moon,” “If You’ve Got Love,” “No Man’s Land,” “Cowboy Love,” “As Long As I Live,” “Friends” and “How Was I To Know,” establishing him as one of the prime acts of the era.
He received the CMA Horizon award and was named the ACM’s Top New Vocalist, setting off a long series of awards that included the CMA’s Single and Song of the Year, Billboard’s Top Country Artist, and a Grammy nomination.
Heavy touring has kept him in close touch with fans. “You get to know your fans and what they like more and more through the years,” he said, “and you kind of gravitate towards one another.”
August 23 – Sawyer Brown
More than 4,500 shows and counting, with more than a million miles behind them, and still seeing the highway miles click by outside their bus window.
Sawyer Brown is a traveling band always on the move—on the road, on stage, and in their career. When asked about what keeps him motivated on the road, lead singer Mark Miller says, “It’s playing the next show. Be grateful for where you’ve been and be excited about where you’re going.”
The band’s live shows are legendary. Having been described as “the Rolling Stones of country music,” the band bounds onto the stage night after night, delivering its own unique brand of high-energy entertainment, and the band remains a perennial favorite at fairs, festivals, theatres, and casinos. That excitement has been on display since the very first time Sawyer Brown stepped foot onstage in the early 1980s.
The group has made 23 albums, with more than 50 chart singles, and has been the recipient of CMA, ACM, and CMT awards.
August 24 – Night Ranger
Night Ranger has earned multi-platinum and gold album status while leaving their indelible mark on the music charts with a string of best-selling albums: Dawn Patrol, Midnight Madness, 7 Wishes, Big Life, and Man in Motion.
The band’s popularity is fueled by an impressive string of instantly recognizable singles and signature album tracks, producing legendary hits such as “Sister Christian”, “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me”, “When You Close Your Eyes”, “(You Can Still) Rock In America”, “Sentimental Street”, “Goodbye”, “Sing Me Away”, and “Four in the Morning.”
August 25 – All Star Monster Trucks
If you’re looking for a little excitement, the All Star Monster Truck Tour will converge on the CWSF fairgrounds on Saturday in oversized vehicles with loud engines.
The All Star Monster Trucks are new to CWSF. This two-hour show will feature four trucks. The trucks will compete in various events throughout the show, including a dare devil act.
August 26 – Demolition Derby
Rounding up the grandstand activity on the last day of this year’s fair schedule is the Peterson Promotions Demolition Derby. While the demolition derby is a staple of the week’s events, Peterson Promotions is new to CWSF.
For more information, visit www.centralwisconsinstatefair.com or call 715-387-1261.