The Directors of the Clearfield Fair & Park Board recently returned from the Pennsylvania State Fair Convention held in Hershey, Jan. 18 – 21, and are pleased to announce entertainment for the David H. Litz Grove Stage and Expo II Plaza have been acquired. This entertainment is provided free with gate admission throughout fair week.
The Grove Stage will feature comedian/magician John Cassidy and musical entertainers N.O.M.a.D., Jerry Shickling, Smokin Joe & Wildhorse Band, A.C. Express and the Kiger Band.
John Cassidy’s bizarre antics have earned him widespread acclaim as one of the most original comedians performing today. Starting his career as a magician and balloon sculptor for children’s birthday parties, John began noticing that the parents were also finding his act to be especially hilarious and ingenious. The world of magic has taken a special shine to John and he is now among the most requested acts at various conventions and seminars throughout the world, and has been named one of the funniest comedy magicians working today by MAGIC Magazine. In addition, Kevin James, Mac King and Teller (of Penn &Teller), the Society of American Magicians, the Academy of Magical Arts, The Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA and Monday Night Magic (New York’s longest running magic show) have all made their own special requests for John Cassidy’s blend of creative mayhem.
North of Mason Dixon, aka NOMaD, made a tremendous splash on the regional country scene in late 2004 after placing third in a highly publicized, country showdown competition. Since then, this steadily climbing, beyond high energy act has garnered a great deal of success and shows no signs of slowing down. Opening for national acts like Brooks and Dunn, Toby Keith, and Rascal Flatts (to name a few), being solicited by several tourists destinations such as Ocean City, MD and the Poconos, having performed as a featured artist at some of the areas biggest events and venues (Dollar Bank Jamboree, Post Gazette Pavilion, and the Pepsi-Cola Roadhouse), and performing for such organizations as the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Penguins, this Pittsburgh based band delivers a refreshing and unique sound they call “Hard Rockin’ Modern Country” that defies any other description.
Jerry Shickling’s music career appears to be on an upswing, and with influences like George Strait, Merle Haggard, Steve Wariner, Tracy Byrd, and Brad Paisley, it seems he’s now deeply rooted in country music. He formed his current touring band, North Country, in 2005 and played some great venues including the Clearfield County Fair, Centre County Grange Fair and Encampment, Relay for Life and Children’s Miracle Network benefit shows, and a variety of other concerts in the U.S and Canada. Jerry also became very popular in Canada in 2005, as well as overseas in Australia, New Zealand, and Belgium. In 2006, Jerry won The Starliners Most Popular Indie Artist award. He has opened for such acts as the Marshall Tucker Band and Neal McCoy.
It’s hard to label the music of Smokin’ Joe & the Wild Horse Band. According to front man Joe Meholick, “We’re definitely a country band, but freestyle. We’re pretty versatile. We can do contemporary country and still do Merle or Hank Sr. We also do classic rock like ‘Pretty Woman.’ We might do Neil Young, or the Eagles, Toby Keith, Trace Adkins or Dwight Yoakam.” Smokin’ Joe and the Wild Horse band has opened for Charlie Daniels, Ty England, Ken Mellons and Daryl Singletary to name a few. Smokin’ Joe & The Wild Horse Band have two albums to their credit. In 2003, they released “Time Will Tell,” with songs by local songwriters except for one Garth Brooks’ cut. The second was “Smokin Joe Meholick American Made.”
The Kiger Band has quickly established itself as the hottest high energy country rock band in Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. Their song list includes current top country rock hits as well as original songs performed only by The Kiger Band. The original songs include a number of songs written by Nashville song writers submitted to The Kiger Band specifically to add our touch of “high energy attitude.” That attitude is evident in their very first song recorded, “Redneck of the Woods” written by Dr. Jim Smith, which has been aired on radio stations across the country, such as Froggy Radio, Y108 and Independent Music Network.
Making their first appearance are Dynamo Dogs, a high energy, fast paced event showcasing agility and disc dog skills, and the Zerbini Family Circus. We welcome back the one and only Buffo, The World’s Strongest Clown. These great entertainers will perform shows throughout fair week in the Expo II Plaza.
Fair Directors also took part in various seminars and discussions. Fair Manager Greg Hallstrom monitored what appeared to be one of the most popular discussions held. Titled “What’s Your Problem?”, fairs, small and large, discussed issues that they face and possible solutions. Notable of this year’s convention was the 100th celebration of the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs. Sam Hayes, Former Secretary of Agriculture, opened the celebration speaking about the importance of agriculture in our every day lives and how it is the very foundation of where we are today.
The 100th Celebration concluded with the crowning of the 2012 PA State Fair Queen. Clearfield County Fair Queen Melanie Swartz was one of fifty-seven young ladies vying for this honor. Throughout convention, contestants were judged on a written essay of what my fair means to my community; a personal interview; evening gown (poise) and presentation of a speech telling others why they should attend their fair. Following Queen Melanie’s speech, a comment from the audience heard was “I want to go to that fair!” Brenda Morgan, Publicity Director, thanked Queen Melanie “You represented Clearfield County and the Fair with class, integrity, character and elegance. You stayed true to who you are and gave it your all. Your charm and passion for the fair shine through in everything you do. We are so very proud to have you as our Queen! We look forward to sharing your reign with you. You are not only our Queen, you are family.” The Fair Directors and Fair Queen Committee congratulate Drew An Brubaker of West Lampeter Fair on being crowned 2012 PA State Fair Queen!
After multiple meetings with Joyce Martin, the Fair’s entertainment agent, Directors have confirmed the grandstand artist for Friday night of the Fair. Offers are pending for Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The search for a Saturday night show continues. Names of the artists cannot be announced until permission is given by their management. Check for updates on the Fair’s official website or Facebook page. Directors tentatively plan to place tickets on sale as soon as they are given permission by artist’s management.
At the re-organizational meeting, officers were elected as follows: President, David Franson; Vice President, Rex Fink; Secretary, Larry Bickel; State Representative and Treasurer, David Hallstrom; and Manager, Greg Hallstrom.