YAKIMA - Eighties arena rock standout 'Foreigner' and jazz ensemble 'Manhattan Transfer' will join a diverse group of entertainers headlining this year's Central Washington State Fair.
This year's fair runs from Sept. 26 through Oct. 5, in Yakima. The 2008 fair theme is "Celebrate What's Great!"
The fair line-up kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 27, with 'Foreigner.'
"Last year we had entertainment on the Budweiser Stage almost every night of the fair," said fair president and general manager Greg Stewart. "It was well received, so we want to do it again this year, without breaking the bank."
Stewart said that with the gas prices going up daily, it makes it more difficult to get entertainers to commit to travel to our corner of the country and still keep their performance fees affordable. Even with those challenges, he feels that again this year the fair will put on a strong line-up that offers something for just about every musical taste.
'Foreigner' will perform on the first Saturday of the fair, Sept. 27. With a number of top five hits, including "Cold As Ice," "Hot Blooded," and "Feels Like The First Time," Foreigner will perform at the Budweiser Stage at 7:30 p.m.
On Sunday, Sept. 28, well known musical group Manhattan Transfer will perform at the fair. The multi-Grammy Award winning group will be performing their pop and jazz standards like "Boy From New York City," at 6 p.m.
The Hip-Hop Dance Contest will be at 3 p.m. and the Battle of the Bands at 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 29, on the Budweiser Stage.
Then, on Tuesday, Sept. 30, country music group Blackhawk will be performing at the fair at 7 p.m.
"Crunk" rock band 'Family Force 5' will perform on Wednesday, Oct. 1 at the Fair. With music described as a combination of punk, Southern rock and funk, Family Force 5 is an up-and-coming band that plays a number of original songs.
Country singer Neal McCoy returns to the fair for a performance on Friday, Oct. 3. McCoy, who has dozens of hits to his name, will be performing at 7:30 p.m.
Actress and singer Raven-Symone will perform at the fair on Saturday, Oct. 4. Maybe best known for her parts on The Cosby Show and most recently on the Disney Channel series "That's So Raven," Raven-Symone is also an accomplished singer with four CDs to her name.
Fair officials are working on bringing in a top name Latino act to perform at the Budweiser Stage on the final Sunday of the fair and they are also trying to sign a performer to play at the fair on Thursday, Oct. 2.
At the grandstand, motorsports, rodeo and a demolition derby will be back and entertaining fairgoers throughout the fair. On the opening Friday and Saturday, Sept. 26 and 27, the American Sprint Car Northwest Regional Finals will hit the dirt for some racing action on the clay racing oval at the fair grandstand. Racing action will begin at 6 p.m.
Then, on opening Sunday, Sept. 28, the popular Jaripeo de Lujo will again be the featured entertainment at the grandstand. An extremely popular event each year, the Mexican rodeo has drawn huge, standing room only crowds. This year's show will again feature bull riding and music beginning at 2 p.m.
The Pro West Finals Rodeo takes over the grandstand arena on Friday, Oct. 3, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 4, at 2 p.m. This is the first year that the fair will be site for the Pro West Finals and because it is the championship finals, it will attract the top 10 pro cowboys and cowgirls in each of the rodeo events from all over the Northwest to compete.
On the final Sunday of the fair, Oct. 5, the grandstand will be the venue for the always-popular Demolition Derby, with all the car-crashing action starting at 2 p.m.
Again this year a variety of around-the-grounds entertainment will be featured. They include the return of the very popular Sea Lion Show, along with an all new Rainforest Experience with Brad's World Reptiles, hypnotist Tyzen Mater and many others who will be entertaining fairgoers all 10 days of the fair.
Plus, as always, there will be all of the great foods, rides, exhibits, displays, animals and other attractions that make the Central Washington State Fair the single largest entertainment event in Eastern Washington.
While all the events and entertainment at the Grandstand and the Budweiser Stage at South Park are free with fair admission, the fair is offering some paid reserve seating for those who would like to hold a seat for the shows.
The prices for the reserved seats are $25 (Foreigner and Raven-Symone), $20 (Neal McCoy), $15 (Manhattan Transfer) and $10 (Blackhawk and Family Force 5); and $15 (Sprint Cars) and $10 (Pro West Rodeo Finals).
The reserved seating prices do not include fairgrounds admission. Tickets for all shows will go on sale Tuesday, July 1, at 10 a.m. at the fair ticket office and through TicketsWest locations. To reserve seats call 1-800-325-SEAT. For general information call 509-248-7160.
For more information on this year's Central Washington State Fair and the 2008 entertainment line-up, go to the fair's website at www.fairfun.com.