Grandstand History

In 1931, it was felt that a new grandstand was needed to replace the original, as there was not enough seating capacity to accommodate the thousands who daily flocked to see acts, stage shows, horse and car races.  A new, all steel and concrete grandstand was built at a cost of $45,000, which would seat 5,000 people comfortably.  It was felt that the new grandstand, still being used today, represented one of the most ambitious undertakings ever attempted by a county fair in the nation.

The opening at the front of the new stand looked out to the north and proved a view of the entire race track from any seat.  It also proved a perfect view from every seat for the big open air stage in the infield where acts and spectacular shows were presented.  The new stand was placed on the south side of the track and slightly east of the center line so that a long view of the home stretch was possible.  To the west was a 130-foot section of the old grandstand, and to the east, a 90-foot section.  The combined stands provided for the seating of 7,640 persons.

That first year, 1931, the under-structure of the grandstand was used as a rest area for fair visitors.  By 1934, the rear of the grandstand was enclosed at a cost of $7,500.  It was to be known as the Automotive and Industrial Hall and would house the large automobile show and other exhibits.The structural engineers and architects hailed from Chicago, however, local firms did the construction.  The general contracts for the new stand was awarded to the Spencer Construction Company.  The 20,000 square feet of metal roof and other sheet metal accessories were placed under a sub-contract held by Christians Sheet Metal Works of Spencer.  The concrete piers and supports and other concrete work about the stand were erected by A.P. Nelson, Spncer contractor.  Electrical wiring was done by the Kritz Electric service of Spencer.

In 1936, there was further change made to the grandstand.  The sections from the original grandstand, which had been used on either side of the new structure, were torn down.  A $25,000 addition was added to the west of the covered section, and matched in construction and height to the main stand.  A covered areaway entrance to both stands was a part of the new addition.  The stand was erected as a WPA project with the fair and federal government sharing the costs.

Entertainers from years past

1965“Hollywood Palace” featuring Roger Miller, George Kirby
1966“Hollywood Palace” featuring The Osmond Brothers, George Kirby
1967The Pat Boone Show, The Kids Next Door
1968Ed Ames, George Kirby, The Golddiggers
1969Al Hirt, Anita Bryant, Kitty Wells, The Plainsmen, Cowsills
1970George Kirby, Anita Bryant, Sonny James, LeRoy Van Dyke, The Raiders starring Paul Revere and Mark Lindsay
1971Jim Nabors, Stonewall Jackson, PeeWee King, Grass Roots, Podipto The Bells
1972Glen Campbell, Tom T. Hall, The Plainsmen
1973Loretta Lynn, Jimmy Dean
1974 Roy Clark, George Jones, Tammy Wynette
1975Bob Hope, Mel Tillis, LeRoy Van Dyke, Tommy Cash, Donna Fargo
1976Red Skelton, Mac Davis, Marty Robbins, Dottie West
1977John Davidson, Norm Crosby, Ronnie Milsap, The Statler Brothers
1978Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Oak Ridge Boys, Crystal Gayle, The New Christy Minstrels
1979Larry Gatlin, Bill Cosby, The Harmonicats, The Statler Brothers, Barbara Mandrell, Charley Pride
1980Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, Victor Borge, The Statler Brothers, Brenda Lee
1981Charley Pride, Tennessee Ernie Ford, George Jones, Tammy Wynette
1982The Statler Brothers, Phyllis Diller, Barbara Mandrell, Mel Tillis, Williams & Ree
1983Charley Pride, Porter Wagoner, Minnie Pearl, Mickey Gilley
1984Lee Greenwood, Conway Twitty, Johnny Cash, June Carter Cash, The Statler Brothers
1985Ronnie Milsap, Bobby Vee, Del Shannon, Louise Mandrell, Williams & Ree, George Strait
1986Roy Clark, Bobby Vee, Leslie Gore, The Statler Brothers, Ray Stevens, Boxcar Willie
1987Mel Tillis, Tammy Wynette, Ray Price, Reba McEntire
1988Crystal Gayle, Charley Pride, Mickey Gilley, The Statler Brothers
1989Willie Nelson, The Oak Ridge Boys, Jan & Dean, Williams & Ree
1990The Charlie Daniels Band, Tanya Tucker, The Judds, Dan Seals, The Shirelles, The Coasters, The Statler Brothers, Suzy Boggus
1991Conway Twitty, Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Ricky Van Shelton, Tammy Wynette, The Bellamy Brothers
1992The Oak Ridge Boys, Joe Diffie, Tanya Tucker, The “Louie, Louie” 30th Anniversary Tour
1993Mark Chesnutt, Lee Greenwood, Wynonna Judd, Chris LeDoux, Willie Nelson
1994Tracy Lawrence, Sammy Kershaw, Four Him, The Statler Brothers, The Everly Brothers
1995Little Texas, Toby Keith, Sawyer Brown, Hal Ketchum, The Tractors, Lorrie Morgan, The Turtles, The Grassroots, Gary Puckett, Steven Curtis Chapman
1996The Oak Ridge Boys, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Sawyer Brown, Chris Ledoux, Joe Diffie, Roger Whitaker, Williams & Ree, Michael W. Smith
1997Diamond Rio, Alabama, Sawyer Brown, Toby Keith, Lorrie Morgan, Tom Wopat, Tim McGraw, Shannon Brown, The Statler Brothers
1998The Doobie Brothers, Sandi Patty, Kathy Troccoli, Neal McCoy, Williams & Ree, Lorrie Morgan, Tom Wopat, John Michael Montgomery, Jars of Clay
1999Clay Walker, Ray Bolts, Kathy Troccoli, Bryan White, Loretta Lynn, Ricky Skaggs, Sawyer Brown, Neal McCoy, Lila McCann
2000Chubby Checker, Davy Jones, The Buckinghams, Alabama, Kenny Chesney, Ricochet, “Weird Al” Yankovic, Kenny Rogers, Def Leppard
2001Martina McBride, Styx, Eric Gales, Dream, LFO, The Statler Brothers, Jo Dee Messina, Carman, Tara Lynn, Williams & Ree
2002Lonestar, Randy Travis, The Righteous Brothers, Clint Black, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Shannon Brown, Plus One, SoulJahz, Tammy Cochran, The Marie Sisters
2003Grand Funk Railroad, Survivor, Travis Tritt, Lee Ann Womack, Jeff Bates, Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Lettermen, Kenny Rogers, Martina McBride
2004Clay Aiken, REO Speedwagon, Kory & the Fireflies, The Oak Ridge Boys, Jimmy Fortune, Brad Paisley, Chris Cagle, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, The Del McCoury Band, Rebecca Lynn Howard
2005ZZ Top, Tracy Byrd, Sawyer Brown, Craig Morgan, Phil Vassar, LeAnn Rimes, Brad Paisley
2006Joe Nichols, Neil McCoy, Carrie Underwood, Jamey Johnson, Foreigner, Trace Adkins, Shannon Brown, Sugarland, Trent Tomlinson, Franc d’Ambrosio
2007Gretchen Wilson, Luke Bryan, Diamond Rio, Williams & Ree, Tonic Sol-Fa, Chicago, Sara Evans, Keith Anderson, Aly & AJ, Lynda Randle, Diane Schuur
2008Trisha Yearwood, Rockapella, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Tonic Sol-Fa, The Diamonds, The Fabulous Traidmarx, Josh Turner, Luke Bryan, Corbin Bleu, Drew Seeley, Beach Boys, Mark Lowry
2009Bill Engvall, Gary Brightwell, Gaither Vocal Band, New Odyssey, Ricky Nelson Remembered, Heart, Tyler Bryant, Trace Adkins, Heidi Newfield, Franc D’Ambrosio
2010Bret Michaels, Blake Shelton, Rodney Atkins, Chris Young, Terry Fator, Three Dog Night, Jay & The Americans, 4 Troops, James Otis, Attention
2011Alan Jackson, Huey Lewis & The News, Dierks Bentley, Big Time Rush, Craig Campbell, Hot Chelle Rae, Johnny Rivers, Frankie Ballard, Sonny Geraci, The Dweebs
2012LeAnn Rimes, Easton Corbin, Chris Young, Thompson Square, Oak Ridge Boys, Jimmy Fortune, Air Supply, Rick Springfield, Casting Crowns, Britt Nicole, Jeff Foxworthy, Jamie Kaler
2013Eli Young Band, Jack Ingram, Bridgit Mendler, Leon Thomas III, Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers, Billy Dean, David Cassidy, Peter Noone, Mickey Dolenz, Scotty McCreery, Craig Campbell, Casey Muessigmann, Theory of a Deadman, Hinder
2014Cheap Trick, Here Come The Mummies, Hunter Hayes, Kelsey K, Sawyer Brown, Aaron Tippin, News Boys, Matthew West, Emblem3, MKTO, Gary Allan, Jerrod Niemann
2015Little Big Town, Ashley Monroe, Halestorm, We Are Harlot, Casting Crowns, For King & Country, Oak Ridge Boys, Jimmy Fortune, Simon Estes, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, Gary Puckett & the Union Gap, RaeLynn, Kelsey K., Casey Muessigmann
2016Martina McBride, Brad Morgan, Andy Grammer, Rachel Platten, Restless Heart, Suzy Bogguss, Billy Dean, MercyMe, Phil Wickham, Three Dog Night, Kory and the Fireflies, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ryan Hurd
2017Justin Moore, Parmalee, Jordan Rager, Herman's Hermits featuring Peter Noone, The Grassroots, The Buckinghams, FrontMen of Country (Larry Stewart of Restless Heart, Ritchie McDonald of Lonestar and Tim Rushlow of Little Texas), for King & Country, Sidewalk Prophets, Jordan Feliz, Old Dominion, Ryan Griffin
2018Lee Brice, Lewis Brice, Tesla, Lita Ford, The Oak Ridge Boys, Jimmy Fourtune, Lauren Daigle, Zach Williams, Sesame Street, Blood Sweat & Tears, Steve Augeri
2019Foreigner, RAIN - A Tribute to the Beatles, The Leroy Van Dyke Country Gold Tour starring Leroy Van Dyke, Jimmy Fortune of the Statler Brothers, T. Graham Brown, Steve & Rudy Gatlin, and Moe Bandy, Micheal W. Smith, Tauren Wells, Jon Pardi, Jake Rose, Maddie Poppe, Maggie Lindemann
2020No Fair due to COVID-19 Pandemic
2021Skillet, Ledger, Herman's Hermits starring Peter Noone, Gary Lewis and The Playboys, Blackhawk, The Bellamy Brothers, Josh Turner, Dillon Carmichael, Darci Lynne, Renata, Ryan Hurd, Big Time Grain Co.
2022Russell Dickerson, Adam Sanders, CeCe Winans, Riley Clemmons, The Leroy Van Dyke Country Gold Tour starring Leroy Van Dyke, Jimmy Fortune, TG Sheppard, T Graham Brown, David Frizzell, The Malpass Brothers, Mandy Barnett, Vanilla Ice, Ying Yang Twins, Dwight Yoakam, Runaway June, Grand Funk Railroad, Blue Oyster Cult
2023Parmalee, Thompson Square, Katy Nichole, Community Worship Collaborate, Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone, The Association, Jo Dee Messina, Diamond Rio, Hairball, Ingrid Andress, Sack of Lions