Holler, if you’re ready for those summer nights (2017 Version)

Fair Week in the Quad Cities is nothing short of legendary. It’s filled with country music, rock and the cool breeze (or in some cases, the heat wave) a summer night brings.

Add in the delicacy of fair food, lemonades and some beers, a couple spinny rides that you scream your head off, and livestock with baby animals…it’s a great time. Pile on the people that bring you the most joy in your life, and it can be the best event of the summer.

This year, the Mississippi Valley Fair dialed it back a notch with the absent of consistent big headliners, but still brought their A-Game with country singers, Dustin Lynch, Brett Eldredge, and Randy Houser. 

Each artist brought their own style of country, and their own unique twist to each concert.  Tuesday’s Dustin Lynch had the crowd on their feet, bringing “…one hell of a night,” with his popular upbeat hits, “Mind Reader,” “Red,” “Where it’s At”, “Hell of  Night,” and “Small Town Boy.”  His voice crooned with southern country soul during “Cowboys and Angels” leaving the crowd breathless. It’s nothing short to say that Dustin Lynch has become one of the most prominent singers of country music today.20621331_10208776933134898_1698702891994123096_n

Wednesday introduced Tyler Farr to me. While I had known two of his hits, “A Guy Walks into a Bar” and “Whiskey in the Water,” outside of knowing his name, he wasn’t an artist whose music I was entirely familiar with, but what I heard I liked. His raspy southern twang made it the perfect concert for a summer night. 

Thursday had the band Lynard Skynard scheduled on the line-up. They canceled due to a member, Gary Rossington, recovering from heart surgery, and was replaced with Vince Neil of Motley Crew. 

Brett Eldredge on Friday was the show that stole my heart for the week. Probably the most prominent singer of the line up for 2017, his interaction with the crowd was by far the best and filled with a proposal to his hit “Wanna Be That Song” and a fan-filled rendition of “Go Cubs Go” that the singer sang back in the Fall of 2016 during the World Series Rally. Filled with a night of dancing, cheering, and lyrics that I almost my voice singing along to, it was the best night of the week. 

On Saturday, we traded in the Mellancamp concert for the real-feel of the rest of the fair. (And from what I heard, I’m sure glad we did. Visit this link for a quote from MVF fair staff on the Mellancamp let down, and put your input in on who you would like to see next year.) We filled our hands with fair food, and walked around the livestock barns, and was met with my glee at finding calves, and an assortment of other baby animals. As a preschool teacher and an Elementary teacher in training, I have those little kid tendencies where everything is just so cute. 

We ventured over to the rides, and while I stayed clear of that slingshot that threw me way too far in the air and scared me half to death, I opted for Ferris wheels, and the spinning rides that had me screaming at the top of my lungs and gripping my boyfriend’s hand. It was fun, and I enjoyed the night outside of the concert. 

Sunday was met with the Randy Houser concert. Houser, who charted his hit “Anything Goes,” in 2008, brought another packed, loud, and summer-worthy concert. While met with tired feet and weary bones after a week of standing and singing, Houser got the crowd involved to show them “…how county feels.” 

That was Fair Week 2017 in a quick review, and I’d say it was pretty great. I can’t wait to see what next year’s Fair Week brings to the Quad Cities summer nights.


About the author

Katy Williams Henderson A life-long Quad Cities resident, Katy is a Preschool through 4th Grade ESL Teacher at a local elementary school. She attended St. Ambrose University, graduating in May 2018 with a B.A. in Elementary Education with ESL and Reading concentrations and an English minor. She is working on a Master's in Early Childhood Education. She loves running, traveling, cooking, working with kids, spending time with her husband and her family and friends, education, and putting a pen to paper. Her writing credits include the Dispatch-Argus Newspaper, Radish Magazine, Midwest Writing Center and being a writing tutor at SAU and now for The Princeton Review's Tutor.com.

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