LIMA — A well-known country act and an up-and-coming one are scheduled to headline the 2016 Allen County Fair.
Rascal Flatts will perform Aug. 27 on the main stage. The group, which sold more than 22.8 million albums, has 15 No. 1 singles at the top of the country charts and more awards than any other group in the past decade. It recently released “I Like the Sound of That,” from its ninth studio record, “Rewind.”
Kelsea Ballerini will open for Rascal Flatts. She’s the voice behind songs such as “Love Me Like You Mean It” and “Dibs,” both from her debut album, “The First Time.”
Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Feb. 11 at allencofair.com. Box office sales begin at 9 a.m. Feb. 23. Ticket prices are $65 for the pit in front of the stage, $55 for track seating and $45 for grandstand and bleachers. Prices include service charges but not the general admission to the fair, which is required.
“The Allen County Fair’s Board of Directors has again stepped up to present the best country music has to offer,” stated Bob Fricke, the new general manager of the Allen County Fair, in a press release. “This mega show will be a night to remember. And we’re ecstatic to have these groups perform. With the success of the Toby Keith concert in 2014 and the Lady Antebellum at this year’s Fair, the board wanted to continue to raise the bar for Allen County and western Ohio.”
It’s the first major move for Fricke, who became general manager Nov. 23, after the Allen County Agricultural Society’s board of directors chose not to renew the contract of former fair manager David Grimm. Little is known about the decision, beyond an earlier comment by board president Dan Kimmet that the board “wanted to move in a different direction.”
It was under Grimm’s leadership that the fair booked Keith and Lady Antebellum. Lady Antebellum and Sam Hunt lifted the fair to its largest one-day attendance, 46,645, on Aug. 29.
Fricke said he hopes to build on that success with Rascal Flatts in 2016.
“We looking at what patrons have told us,” he said. “They wanted that next level. With the success we’ve had, we’ll continue forward with that trend, bring in bigger-name acts.
Prior to securing the GM job, Fricke had been a promoter of Limaland Motor Sports Park and a vice president of University of Northwestern Ohio in the department of student life.
Rascal Flatts is scheduled to headline the 2016 Allen County Fair on Saturday, Aug. 27.
Reach Amy Eddings at 567-242-0379 or on Twitter, @lima_eddings.