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Wagon wheels and Ferris wheels

The Washington County Fair returns this week for its 75th year, organized by the Washington County Fair Board and Potosi Lions Club. (file photo)

Washington County Fair runs through Saturday in Potosi


From wagon wheels to Ferris wheels, the Washington County Fair Board and the Potosi Lions Club are bringing summer entertainment to the masses this week at the Lions Club Fairgrounds.

This is the 75th year for the Washington County Fair, which brings big music, big livestock, big rides, and big times to the fairgrounds on Highways 8 and 185. This year’s bands include Hunter Hathcoat, Phil Vandel, Fast Times Rock n’ Roll and Medallion.

The fairgrounds are accessed by taking Highway 8 north to Highway 185. Admission was $7 on Wednesday and Thursday and is $10 on Friday and Saturday nights.

Admission is free on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A season pass is $28, while a senior pass is $24. A wristband for unlimited rides is an extra $20. The fair’s website and Facebook page have most of the news, but fair-goers can also sign up for the latest updates by texting WASHCOFAIR to 84483 (message and data rates may apply).

The fun times began with Wednesday night’s talent show and continued with Thursday’s Feed & Farm, 4-H livestock judging, and auction.

The rides and other attractions will all be happening on Friday night when Hunter Hathcoat takes the stage at 7 p.m., and Phil Vandel performs at 9 p.m.

Saturday rounds out the week with Kiddies Day fun during the day and live music at 7 p.m. with Medallion opening for Fast Times, who takes the main stage at 9 p.m.

Phil Vandel is Friday night’s music headliner, with Hunter Hathcoat opening at 7 p.m. (Phil Vandel)

Phil Vandel, Friday night’s music headliner, has traveled the world with his music and continues to bring his style of singing, songwriting, and guitar playing to audiences around the globe at 150-200 shows per year. With performances throughout North America, including several shows each year in Las Vegas, Vandel has performed everywhere, from Hollywood to DC and Canada to Mexico. He has been a band member for several multi-award-winning groups and has appeared in Country Weekly Magazine, on CMT, GAC, and on Country Radio Stations worldwide.

Vandel is a proud supporter of the U.S. military and has donated countless hours performing shows for active, retired, and wounded warriors coast to coast. He has performed at multiple “welcome home” events for returning troops and he has spent many holidays at military hospitals with soldiers too injured to be home with their families. Volunteering many hours at schools throughout America, Vandel has offered motivational speaking and singing to kids with Medal of Honor recipients and other distinguished guests to educate kids on the price of freedom and to encourage them to give back to their communities and country.

In 2009, Vandel was a part of the American Airlines / Operation Iraqi Children group that flew into Bahrain, Germany, Kuwait, and Iraq to entertain the U.S. Troops deployed there. In 2010, he and his band embarked on two separate tours to Kuwait and Iraq for an incredible string of headlining shows for the soldiers there. On his May 2010 trip to Iraq, he set a record for performing the most shows of any music group on a single trip down-range by logging 18 full-production concerts in just nine days with every show at a different base.

Saturday night’s featured band is Fast Times, based out of Kansas City.

Kansas City-based Fast Times will be pouring out ’80s tunes on Saturday night, with local favorite Medallion opening for them at 7 p.m. (Fast Times)

As the lone Kansan in Fast Times, singer Gin Dorsey is promoted as the face and voice of 80s entertainment for the band, proving “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by making sure party-goers feel like part of the show. Fast Times’ James Wood is originally from California and is no stranger to playing lead guitar in the L.A. music scene. Kent Allen is the band’s keyboardist, and as any ’80s aficionado can tell you, the keyboard of the era was the synthesizer. He has been playing the Kansas City area since the late ’90s and once opened for ’80s icon John Waite.

Scot Eldridge, a proud Missourian who has also lived in Colorado, is the drummer sporting spiked hair, Max Headroom shades, and checkerboard patterns on his parachute pants. Scott “Sevans” Evans, on bass, has been singing on the Kansas City music scene since the early ’90s.

Washington County Fair Association Officers for 2023 are Randy Fryman, president; John Higginbotham, secretary; Mike Heflin, treasurer; Dr. Paul Villmer, assistant treasurer and Carrie Richards, executive secretary.

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