Concerts to ignite fair, rodeo

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Aaron Watson will close out the 2023 edition of the Waller County Fair and Rodeo with his concert on the final Saturday night, Oct. 7, in Hempstead, Texas.

HEMPSTEAD, Texas – From the opening night of the Waller County Fair and Rodeo, the folks in southeast Texas will have a big chance to enjoy some top-rated live music.

The Hempstead exposition will have four nights of concerts, starting with the opening showcase on Saturday, Sept. 30. The evening will feature a freestyle bullfight, then Kylie Frey and Ian Munsick will take the stage to keep the ball rolling for top-quality entertainment.

“I’m so pumped up about that first Saturday and that bullfight,” said Michelle Husky, co-chairwoman of the entertainment committee for the Waller County Fair Association. “Kylie has been on America’s Got Talent. She’s done an amazing job, and we’re excited to have her sing the national anthem to open our newly covered arena and the bullfight that night.

“We’d heard about Ian, and we saw him in Vegas. We’re pretty excited to see what he brings to stage, see what kind of a crowd he brings. He’s a different kind of country, and people seem to like him and really seem to like the music he plays.”

From opening night to closing ceremonies, there will be a great deal of action and a lot of entertainment for fairgoers. It’s a tradition in Waller County, and there’s no reason to stop now.

The concert series might just be highlighted by the final showcase on Saturday, Oct. 7, with Texas-based country artist Aaron Watson.

“Opening for him that night is a young girl that is no relation, Kate Watson,” Husky said. “We met Kate back in January, and one of our sponsors was with us and wanted us to book her for the fair. We’re excited to have her open for Aaron.

“There’s nothing to say about Aaron Watson that people don’t already know. His name sells the tickets, and we know he’s going to put on a great show.”

In between, the concert series will kick back up Thursday, Oct. 5, beginning three straight nights of the artists following the PRCA rodeo. The Brown Sugar Band will showcase it’s versatile talents, from powerful country to classic rock to some traditional soul. The group will set the stage for Coffey Anderson, who has built an acclaimed country career defined by his work ethic, sense of humility and country roots.

“We had time to visit with Coffey in January when we booked him,” Husky said. “He had a really good show, and he brings a lot to the table. He’s also going to be singing the national anthem to kick off our PRCA rodeo.”

Young artist Kendall Shaffer is carrying the torch for a new generation, but she’s a student of greats like Keith Whitley and George Jones. She will open the Friday, Oct. 6, concert series for a Waller County favorite, Glen Templeton, who has not only played at the fair and rodeo before, but he also has been a staple at events across southern Texas for years.

“We don’t normally bring artists back to back, but he puts on such a great show,” Husky said of Templeton. “He’s been hitting up the stages all around the region. He’s ready to come back and rock the Waller County Fair on a Friday night.”


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