June 12, 2024

Historic fair chock-full of fun

Josh Turner

Champaign County Fair

July 19-27

1302 N. Coler Ave.

Urbana, Illinois

URBANA, Ill. — The Champaign County Fair has been a popular draw for visitors from not only east-central Illinois, but also across Illinois and Indiana for over 170 years.

Each day will be filled with numerous activities for all ages with 4-H open and junior open and non-livestock shows, educational displays revolving around conservation and agriculture, various vendors from businesses and organizations across the county, a carnival and a variety of entertainment.

Headlining the grandstand stage this year will be performances by Josh Turner and Tigirlily Gold on Friday, July 26.

Turner, a Grammy Award nominee for Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Album in 2006, was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 2007.

At the time, he and Carrie Underwood were the youngest members of the Opry. He was inducted by Vince Gill.

Turner’s career began in 2003 when he signed to MCA Nashville Records. That same year, his debut album’s title track, “Long Black Train,” was his breakthrough single release.

His second album, “Your Man,” in 2006 accounted for his first two No. 2 hits, “Your Man” and “Would You Go with Me.” His 2007 album, “Everything is Fine,” included “Firecracker,” which reached No. 2.

“Haywire,” released in 2010, produced his biggest hit, the four-week No. 1 hit “Why Don’t We Just Dance” and another No. 1, “All Over Me.”

It was followed by his album, “Punching Bag,” in 2012, whose lead-off single, “Time is Love,” was the biggest country hit of 2012, according to Billboard Year-End.

Tigirlily Gold is the 2024 American Country Music’s New Duo or Group of the Year Award winner.

On the same day of the concert, the duo of sisters Krista and Kendra Slaubaugh will be releasing their debut studio album, “Blonde.”

The two began performing music as teenagers, uploading cover songs to YouTube before moving to Nashville in 2017 to attend Belmont University.

After graduating, they uploaded cover songs to TikTok during the pandemic, which led to them receiving attention on social media.

Songwriter and record producer Shane McAnally discovered the duo and signed them to the Nashville branch of Monument Records, of which he is a co-owner.

Monument released their self-titled EP in 2021, and they began performing at a Nashville bar owned by Dierks Bentley and changed their name to Tigirlily Gold.

In 2023, the duo released a second EP, titled “Blonde,” which includes their debut radio single, “Shoot Tequila,” which peaked at No. 47 on Billboard Country Airplay. They released “I Tried a Ring On” as their second radio single in January.

The fair’s grandstand events kick off Friday, July 19, with dirt track racing, followed each night with other highlights including a demolition derby, draft horse pulls, draft horse show, harness racing, monster trucks, rodeo, and truck and tractor pulls sanctioned by the Illiana Pullers Association and Illinois Tractor Pulling Association.

Further details of the fair’s events can be found at champaigncountyfair.cc.

Tom Doran

Tom C. Doran

Field Editor