Mud doesn’t stop concertgoers

Serrena Bier, of Struthers, tries on hats for sale Thursday, July 9, during the opening day of 2015 Country Concert.

Anya Harold, 10, left to right, came out to see Florida Georgia Line with her mom Mystery Harold and their friend Kim Wray, all of Toledo. Anya is also the daughter of Ryan Harold.

Kathleen Pelow, of Toledo, rides the a mechanical bull Thursday, July 9, at Country Concert.

Musician John King performs on the Saloon Stage at 3 p.m. Thursday during the opening day of 2015 Country Concert.
Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Water-proof boots were almost as common as cowboy boots Thursday during a rainy opening day of the three-day 2015 Country Concert. Fans braved the rain to see Frankie Ballard, Chris Young and Florida Georgia Line on the main stage.

Karla Hale, right, of Charlotte, Mich., meets Frankie Ballard during a meet and greet back stage Thursday at the 2015 Country Concert. Hale used to watch Ballard perform at the “Intersection” in Grand Rapids, Mich., before Ballard made it big.

Frankie Ballard performs on the Main Stage Thursday to begin the three-day 2015 Country Concert in Fort Loramie.

FORT LORAMIE — It was a muddy opening day of Country Concert 2015.

The concert weekend, which is celebrating its 35th year, brought visitors from near and far.

Fort Loramie residents Jana and Amy, who weren’t comfortable giving their last names, have been coming to the concert every year for about 15 years or so, since high school they said. They were most excited to see Florida Georgia Line, the headliners on Thursday evening.

The excitement over FGL was a theme of concertgoers on Thursday.

Amanda McLane and Alicia Menteria, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, were hanging out in the Saloon Stage area on Thursday waiting for John King to perform, the very first performance of the day. Seeing FGL was just one of their stops on a trip to Vermont.

Elizabeth Rorr, Brittany Duckwall, and Maddi Fulk, of Springfield, Ohio, couldn’t wait to see FGL and were at the concert early to get their pick of seats.

Bridget Corman, of Springfield, Ohio, had a great view of the stage from her station at the Lemon Shakes stand. She had been there since about 10 a.m. setting up and is going to be there all weekend. She was looking forward to FGL as well.

Two men from Columbus, who chose not to provide their names, said they are going to be there for the whole weekend camping. They were not only looking forward to seeing FGL, they were there with a big group of their friends, another common theme of Country Concert.

A big group of people in the VIP area come to the concert almost every year, they said. Among them were Brenda Hazard, of Delaware, Jean Eselgroth, of Wayne, Pennsylvania, Lois Smith, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Betty Dye and Tim Orum, of New Mexico. They said they are excited to see absolutely everyone who is performing.

They are “camping” in a nearby hotel and were very enthusiastic about being at the concert.

Tim and Terry Everheart, of Tiffin, Ohio, have been to Country Concert about 10 times and can recall a time when Carrie Underwood was nervous on stage. They will be at the concert all weekend and found a cozy spot in the back of the field to enjoy the day’s festivities.

Wanda Laughman, of Russia, said she’s going to be there all weekend and is looking forward to Carrie Underwood most.

David Moore, of Missouri, will be working security all weekend. He was stationed outside of the Saloon Stage early Thursday afternoon. It is his first time at the concert, but he was excited to see what it was all about.

As of about 4:30 p.m. Thursday the first aid tent had only given out two bandages for blisters and concert security had not dealt with any major issues.

John King performed on the Saloon Stage first Thursday, followed by Clare Dunn, and a Thousand Horses.

On the Main Stage was Frankie Ballard, followed by Chris Young and FGL.

Friday’s performances will include:

• Main Stage

4 p.m. The Cadillac Three

6 p.m. Chase Rice

8 p.m. The Band Perry

10 p.m. Jake Owen

• Saloon Stage

10 a.m. USA Karaoke Finals

5 p.m. The Railers

7 p.m. Waterloo Revival

9:15 p.m. The Railers

Saturday’s performances will include:

• Main Stage

Noon: Jon Pardi

2 p.m. Neal McCoy

4 p.m. Cole Swindell

6 p.m. Eli Young Band

8 p.m. Justin Moore

10 p.m. Carrie Underwood

• Saloon Stage

11 a.m. Haley & Michaels

1 p.m. Haley & Michaels

3 p.m. Clark Manson

5 p.m. Blackhawk

7 p.m. Outlaws

9 p.m. Clark Manson

It’s not too late to attend; tickets and camping spots are available at the gate. Country Concert is located at Hickory Hill Lakes in Fort Loramie on Ohio 66.

Reach this writer at 937-538-4825; follow on Twitter @SDNAlexandraN