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Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018 12:03 am

That’s fair enough

On Friday, Aug. 17 Due North, a five-piece, mixed-gender a cappella group, will perform on the Illinois State Fair’s Apex stage at 3pm and the Lincoln stage at 6pm.


As we move into the second and final weekend of the Illinois State Fair, the fun keeps on coming, even as the original excitement wears down. I think 10 days is a fair amount of time for a fair. Any more just wouldn’t be fair to all those involved in keeping the fair going. Does that sound reasonable? Okay, enough already with the “fair” jokes. Another one is going to cost you a fare to say the word “fair,” no matter what the meaning.

Looks like the Grandstand shows are doing fine, and, by all accounts, the fair is doing fairly well this year (couldn’t help it). I’m hearing good things about the Rising Star stage, and the beer in all the beer tents is colder than usual. Well, maybe disregard the statement about the beer, but the good times are flowing through the veins and popping out the pores. Peaches and Bacon, the very hip, old-time music duo on fiddle and banjo (based in Petersburg), lands on the Ethnic Village stage at noon on Thursday. Something claiming to be a premier Celtic-fusion band out of Nashville called Def Leprechaun plays there on Thursday at 7 and again on Friday at 2. These three, middle-age lads do the classic Irish folk songs with a bit of a twist while adding good harmonies, always a plus with the Irish tunes. To continue with the Emerald Isle traditions in the Ethnic Village, Exorna, one of our area contributions to the Celtic cause, takes the stage on Saturday at 7. Victor, lead singer and percussionist of the group, actually is from Northern Ireland and gives the old songs a true authenticity.

On Friday at 7 p.m. on the Rising Star stage the Holy White Hounds, an up-and-coming quartet from Des Moines, Iowa, promises to rock your world, and they will have a new record to promote while doing so. They’ve made the rounds over the last few years playing from Texas to Minnesota, Florida to Washington and California to New York, and now they’re hanging out at the fair just for you to experience. Fans of a cappella groups that do the cool stuff should be aware that on Friday Due North plays the Apex stage at 3 and the Lincoln stage at 6. The five-piece, mixed-gender combo hails from the Twin Cities in Minnesota and is playing the South Dakota State Fair in a few weeks, just in case you were planning a road trip. On Sunday the long-running and ever-popular Christian music Powerlight Festival resurrects the Lincoln stage with some mighty fine music, sporting an equally as good message. The Fantastic Jones Family, one of my personal favorite local groups that gets out and goes places on gospel time, is on at 1 p.m., and Zac Williams closes things out at 8 p.m. with plenty of un-secular support in between from artists such as Slingshot 57 and Citizen Way.

I found all this information on the fairly-well kept state fair website where they have very sensibly listed all the stages and who’s playing when and where under the “entertainment” tab on the main page. So it’s only fair to go get the last of the fair that’s left. After all this is said and done, we can begin planning for next year and thinking about upcoming entertainment in the usual way. In fact, it’s good to remember that the regular bars and clubs listed in our Pub Crawl continue to host live music all through the fair, including several fine and dandy shows for you who are fairly fair-ed out.

Now for one last hurrah and “fair” thee well to you all.

Contact Tom Irwin at


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Sunday Aug. 18th