FORT LORAMIE — Country Concert at Hickory Hill Lakes in Fort Loramie is back and ready to help “cure the summertime blues” with the celebration of its 40th anniversary.
The action kicks off with the camper party on Wednesday, July 7, 2021. The concert on the country club saloon and main stages begins Thursday, July 8, and continues through Saturday, July 10.
The headliners set for the 2021 show include Luke Combs on Thursday, July 8, Alan Jackson on Friday, July 9, and Jason Aldean set to take the stage on Saturday, July 10.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again and making new friends,” said Paul Barhorst, Country Concert president, in an email. “Our event is like a family reunion with all the amazing people that have made Country Concert by returning year after year and the talented people and organizations that work the event. Our longtime attendees are always welcoming people attending for the first time and help show them the ropes. Without the fans and the hard working people that set up, work the weekend and clean up, our 40th event would not be possible. We are blessed.”
When asked if he was looking forward to seeing any specific artist this year, he said it’s tough to pick just one. He also noted they put together the Friday show to “specifically showcase and tip our hat to our history.”
Set to perform at the Friday concert are: Hannah Dasher, 3 p.m., country club saloon stage; Lorrie Morgan, 4 p.m., main stage; McGuffey Lane, 5 p.m., country club saloon stage; Dallas Moore, 5 p.m., homegrown honky tonk stage; Riley Green, 6 p.m., main stage; Bellamy Brothers, 7 p.m. country club saloon stage; Alexis Gomez, 7 p.m., homegrown honky tonk stage; Justin Moore, 8 p.m., main stage; Jesse Keith Whitley, 9:15 p.m., country club saloon stage; Ashley Best, 9:15 p.m., homegrown honky tonk stage; Alan Jackson, 10 p.m., main stage.
“I enjoy the new acts as much as the superstars and legends. Legend Alan Jackson (CC21, 06, 02, 92) helps us celebrate our 40th event along with many artists that have helped make our event possible, like Justin Moore (CC21, 17, 15, 12, 11, 10, 09), Lorrie Morgan (CC21, 02, 00, 98, 90), The Bellamy Brothers (CC21, 10, 95, 88, 86), McGuffey Lane (CC21, CC84, CC83), Riley Green (CC21, CC18),” Barhorst said. “We, also, have Lorrie Morgan and Keith Whitley’s son, Jesse Keith Whitley. Keith Whitley was scheduled to play CC89, but sadly passed away May 9, 1989. So, having Jesse Keith on the same day as his mother will be special. Neal McCoy, a fan favorite who has played our event the most times in our history — CC21 will be his 14th — will appropriately kick-off our main stage shows Thursday, July 8, at 4 p.m.”
“Luke Combs, the hottest act in country music today, will headline Thursday, and Jason Aldean, recently named Artist of the Decade, will close the show with a bang Saturday, July 10!” Barhorst said. “In addition, more of today’s hottest stars like Jon Pardi, HARDY, Cody Johnson and more fan favorites like Jo Dee Messina and Deana Carter (will perform).”
Barhorst said their event started with great regional performers like Jim and Connie Prenger, of Minster, Home Brew, of Minster, McGuffey Lane, of Columbus, Benny McNeil, of Lockington, and more since then.
“We added our Homegrown Honky Tonk Stage a couple of years ago to showcase more Ohio connected talent. We look forward to continuing this tradition of supporting artists with local and regional ties as they pursue their dreams in the future,” he said. “New this year, the acts that play the Homegrown Honky Tonk, will also play our new stage in the expanded VIP area. These stages will feature Wyatt McCubbin from outside of Springfield. He’s co-written songs with Steve Earle and Tracy Lawrence, Alexis Gomez, a Dayton native, was top 12 on American Idol in 2015. Cole Ritter is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter who is completing his education at Nashville’s prestigious Belmont University. His dad, Wes, is a Houston grad and his grandparent’s Tony and Linda Ritter still live in Shelby County.”
“We felt the best way to celebrate our 40th anniversary would be by investing in facility improvements to give the people that attend a better experience. We are adding giant vertical HD screens on each side of the stage. These 18-foot-wide by 36-foot-tall screens, similar to those used in huge stadium shows, will give everyone in the show area a front row view,” he continued.
The 40th annual Country Concert in 2020 was rescheduled to July 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Barhorst family said, when making the announcement, they were “incredibly disappointed” to have to reschedule the 40th anniversary event.
“People have been excited about the lineup for almost two years now and everyone wants to go out and have fun together, again,” Barhorst said. “We are looking forward to an amazing weekend and making new memories with friends. You can save money if you buy tickets and camping before they go up to gate prices at midnight on June 25, 2021. Since Ohio’s COVID-19 health orders/mandates were lifted June 2, we’ve had the following statement pop up on our website to help with any questions:
‘The artists can’t wait to play and we can’t wait to see you!
Will masks be required? No
Will proof of vaccine be required? No
Will social distancing be required? No.’”
The Country Concert welcomes approximately 20,000 fans each of the three days, confirmed now retired Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart, in 2020.
For more information on tickets and camping, which are on sale now, visit www.countryconcert.com.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.