Are You Ready for the Country: County fairs, cowboy boots and Sparks


Today I head back from three nights of country music at my hometown's county fair.


It was a rough three nights.

Blake Shelton.jpg
Courtesy of
Blake Shelton

A beer garden stocked with cheap Miller Lites, Mike's Hard Lemonades and, ugh again, Sparks on ice (my sister and I both sported orange-staches the night Luke Bryan and Heidi Newfield performed before realizing we ought to smuggle our own liquor for Blake Shelton, Gloriana and Rodney Atkins).

Brown County Fair 1.jpg
Picture by Nikki's sister
See? Learned my Sparks lesson - brought a jug of homemade Mimosa and flask of whiskey for Blake Shelton.

Long lines for the ladies' room full of drunk women, the likes of which say things like, "I love your hat. I love your boots. I love your eyes OH MY GOD I CAN'T BELIEVE I JUST SAID THAT I SWEAR I'M NOT GAY OH MY GOD I'M SO DRUNK FORGET I SAID THAT. No, but really, I'm not gay."

Singing Dolly Parton to a disinterested crowd of seeming "regulars" in an 1880s-style "Centennial Village" (regulars? The place is only open once a year for the fair. But they eyed us with the distrust of an old-time village of regulars) while throwing back still more Miller Lites.

And Luke Bryan briefly covering Collective Soul. Really, Luke? Really, my number one country music crush, now dropped way down to, like, ten (replacing him near the top - one of the guitar players in Gloriana. Not the one with the bleach-blonde spiky hair; the other one in the backseat - va va va voom you hottie in slicked-back hair and cowboy boots).

I scored a backstage pass from a friend who works in country radio, got my photo snapped with Luke who briefly touched my back and referred to me as "Baby" (swoon!) but, really Luke? Collective Soul, and "Enter Sandman"?


Brown County Fair 2.jpg
Photo by some dude outside Luke's trailer
Luke Bryan, touching my back. Be still, heart.

No more swigging whiskey from plastic flasks amidst a field of boots while my siblings and I count down to drunkenly scream in unison "MIRANNNNNDA LAMMMMBERT!" and "HUNTIN' BIG WHITETAIL!" at Blake Shelton (note, Blake Shelton dates Miranda, and, well, he hunts big whitetails). Time for Blake and I to move on to greener pastures--county fair time is over, state fair time is now. For those of us in Minnesota, that now is today.

Minnesota State Fair.jpg
Courtesy of Minnesota State Fair

Sponsor Content

Now Trending

Minnesota Concert Tickets

From the Vault