Music on tap at Missouri State Fair starting Thursday

Entertainment remains, but changing as state fairs change

The Oak Ridge Boys will perform on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.

The Oak Ridge Boys will perform on Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013 at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia.


It’s one of the things that keeps state fairs going all over the country, and the Missouri State Fair is no exception, Fair Commissioner Lowell Mohler said this month.

“We have a lot of folks who come just to have fun,” he explained. “They want to see the exhibits.

“They want a lot of free entertainment — which we have, probably, more than most fairs.”

That includes several music groups performing throughout the day on the Budweiser Stage, and a variety of programs on the Kids’ Stage.

Many fairgoers also are willing to pay extra for the Grandstand concerts. But arranging those shows is “more complicated than it used to be,” Mohler said. “We’re limited to 12,000 seats, and the big acts like to play 40,000 (like) the Sprint Center in Kansas City and all that.

“So, we’re relegated the last five, six or seven years to signing a lot of up-and-coming (acts), and people who want exposure.”

Still, Mohler said, a State Fair Grandstand concert is a bargain.

“We don’t charge a lot for tickets, compared with even the Hearnes Center in Columbia, where they have a lot of $100 tickets,” he said. “Our biggest ticket is 50 bucks (for a seat) — that’s track chairs for some of the bigger shows.”

This year’s Fair runs from Aug. 8-18 in Sedalia.

And, as in the past, the Fair has signed acts to attract a variety of music lovers — some Country, some Rock, some Pop and some classics.

Chubby Checker, who popularized the dance known as the Twist in the 1960s, is featured on Tuesday, Aug. 13 — traditionally one of the Fair’s least-busy days.

Tickets are $15 for track seating, closest to the stage, and $10 for the Grandstand.

“We’ll have some special promotions around that day,” Mohler said. “We’ll have a good crowd.

“The other ‘slow’ night is Wednesday (Aug. 14) — and that’s the Oak Ridge Boys, who have been around a long time.

“But they’re selling a lot of tickets for their 40th Anniversary tour.”

Those tickets are $20 for track seats and $15 for the Grandstand.

“They’re a good show,” Mohler said. “They’re good entertainers.”

The other “classic Rock” acts are booked for Friday, Aug. 9 — the Fair’s second day — with Foreigner as the “headline” act and Starship, featuring Mickey Thomas, as the opening act.

“That will be a very good show,” Mohler said. “We’ll have a lot of people there ... and that will draw people from Kansas City who we, otherwise, wouldn’t get.”

Tickets for that show are $40 for the Premium Track seats closest to the stage, $35 for Regular Track seats, $25 for the Premium Grandstand seats and $20 for the Regular Grandstand.

The State Fair runs 11 days, and music concerts are scheduled for eight of them.

The most expensive concert of the year is Friday, Aug. 16, featuring Country star Toby Keith as the headliner, and Kelsey K as the opening act.

Those tickets are $65 for the Standing Pit — the only concert with that right-next-to-the-stage opportunity.

Premium Track seats are $50, Regular Track $45, Premium Grandstand $38 and Regular Grandstand seats are $30.

Mohler said the State Fair Commission has only $850,000 in the budget for all Grandstand programs, and $150,000 of that pays for the lights and sound system.

The Fair makes money mainly on concessions.

“Toby Keith costs us $300,000, and we’ll probably make $350,000,” he said. “It will be a sell-out.”

The State Fair also generates money from gate admissions, which are in addition to the Grandstand entertainment ticket prices, and the concerts help bring people to the Fair who might not come, otherwise.

Other Grandstand concerts include:

• Thursday, Aug. 8 — Chris Cagle, with Will Hoge as the opening act. Track seats $15, Grandstand $10.

• Saturday, Aug. 10 — Gary Allan and “opener” Randy Houser. Premium Track $40, Regular Track $35, Premium Grandstand $25 and Regular Grandstand $20.

• Thursday, Aug. 15 — Lee Brice, with opener Tyler Farr. Premium Track $35, Regular Track $30, Premium Grandstand $25 and Regular Grandstand $20.

• Saturday, Aug. 17 — Three Days Grace, with opener, Hinder. Premium Track $40, Regular Track $35, Premium Grandstand $25 and Regular Grandstand $20.

All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.

Because of an accident during last year’s auto racing, there are no races on this year’s schedule, as the Fair officials work to make some track changes and improvements.

But the Fair’s first weekend ends with the Missouri Association Championship Truck and Tractor Pull Qualifying round Sunday and Finals on Monday.

Ticket prices are the same both days: $12 for adults and $5 for children 6-12 for the 10 a.m. round, and $15 adults and $6 for ages 6-12 for the 7 p.m.

All-day tickets are $20 adults and $9 for ages 6-12. Ages 5 and under are free.

Complete entertainment information can be found on the Fair’s website,

Missouri State Fair general admission:

• Single day adult: $8

• Seniors (age 60 and over): $6

• Children ages 6-12: $2

• Children age 5 and under: free

Adult tickets only $6 if purchased in advance, through Aug. 7, at participating Break Time Convenience Stores and Orscheln Farm and Home stores.

Gate admission specials (cannot be combined with other promotions or coupons):

• Opening Day Two-Buck Bonanza — Thursday, Aug. 8

$2 gate admission all day (age 6 and over)

• Show-Me Salutes Military Appreciation Day — Sunday, Aug. 11

Free gate admission, valid today only, for active military, veterans and delayed entry recruits with appropriate ID. $1 gate admission today for immediate family members — spouse and dependent children

• $5 after 5 p.m. — Sunday, Aug. 11-Thursday, Aug. 15

• Celebrate Women in Agriculture — Thursday, Aug. 15

Free gate admission, valid today only, for women of all ages. Regular price admission for men.

• Fair Finale/Half Price Day — Sunday, Aug. 18

$4 gate admission all day (age 13 and over); $1 age 6-12

• Law Enforcement/Firefighter Appreciation Day — Sunday, Aug. 18

Free gate admission for Municipal-County-State law enforcement and Missouri Firefighters-EMTs-Paramedics with appropriate I.D., today only. $1 gate admission for immediate family members – spouse and dependent children.

Other specials can be found on the fair’s web page:

Carnival Midway

The carnival midway opens by noon on weekdays and by 11 a.m. on weekends, weather permitting. The midway closes between 11:30 p.m. and 1:30 a.m. each day, at the carnival company’s discretion and depending on weather.

Tickets available at midway carnival ticket booths

• Single Ride Tickets: $1 each (most rides require more than 1 ticket)

• Family Pack: $20 for 20 tickets

• Unlimited Carnival Ride Wristbands (does not include gate admission) —

$25 — Aug. 8, 9, 12-16

$30 — Aug. 10, 11, 17

$15 (half price) — Sunday, Aug. 18

Special deals can be found on the Fair’s web page:


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