YAKIMA - Some new up-and-comers and popular returnees are among the entertainers who will be playing at the Central Washington State Fair in late September.
Among the returning artists are music parody genius "Weird Al" Yankovic, the pop group Boyz II Men and singer Uncle Kracker.
Other entertainers who will be performing as part of the Les Schwab Concert Series during the 10-day fair include hip-hop artist MC Magic, country group Gloriana, the rock band Hinder, country singer Kellie Pickler and country newbie Brett Eldredge.
Officials are sticking with a formula of providing quality entertainment during the middle part of the fair in an effort to give patrons a chance to come out and hear some great music not only on the weekends of the fair but on the weeknights, as well.
"We've been fortunate to be able to bring in some really good entertainers almost every night of the fair," said fair president and general manager Greg Stewart.
He said, "We try to have different entertainers who appeal to all kinds of audiences, and we think this year's line-up does just that."
Weird Al, who is the undisputed king of pop culture parody, is returning for his third appearance at the fair.
He will perform at the Budweiser Stage at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. He last performed his unique blend of music and comedy at the fair in 2007.
On the opening Sunday of the Central Washington State Fair, the hot new country group Gloriana will be performing at 6 p.m.
Gloriana, winner of the 2010 ACMA Top New Vocal Group award, has recently been on tour with Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn and Jason Aldean among others. Their current hit single is "Wild At Heart".
MC Magic, who has developed a big following with his Latino hip-hop ballads, will perform at the Budweiser Stage at 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 26.
He sings in both English and Spanish and has recorded several CD's, the latest called "The Rewire."
On Tuesday the fair presents the rock band Hinder. With several million albums sold over the past five years, Hinder has developed a strong following after the release of the hit singles "Get Stoned" and "Lips Of An Angel".
Hinder plays at the Budweiser Stage at 7 p.m. on Sept. 27.
Country starlet Kellie Pickler performs on Wednesday, Sept. 28, at 7 p.m.
The former American Idol contestant has had hits with "Red High Heels" and "Best Days of Your Life."
Thursday, Sept. 29, the Grammy Award winning pop group Boyz II Men will be returning to the Budweiser Stage. The popular 90's group, who played at the fair to standing room only crowds in 2009, will be singing hits like "Motownphilly" and "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" among others at 7 p.m.
Uncle Kracker, pop and country crossover singer, will be performing at the Central Washington State Fair on Friday, Sept. 30.
With hits such as "Follow Me" and the cover version of Dobie Gray's classic "Drift Away," Uncle Kracker will be singing at 7:30 at the Budweiser Stage. He performed at the fair in 2003.
Country newcomer Brett Eldredge will perform at the Fair on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 7:30 p.m.
The young singer/songwriter has worked with some of the biggest names in country music and his first single, "Raymond" has been playing on country music stations recently.
Stewart said the fair will also be presenting a big name Latino act or acts on the final Sunday of the fair.
At the Coca-Cola Grandstand, motor sports, rodeo and a demolition derby will be back and entertaining fairgoers throughout the fair.
On the opening Friday and Saturday, Sept. 23 and 24, the American Sprint Car Series Northwest Region races will hit the dirt for some wild racing action on the clay racing oval at the grandstand. Racing action will begin at 6 p.m. each evening.
Then, on opening Sunday, Sept. 25, the Festival de Musica will be the featured entertainment at the grandstand. The event will include several different Mexican musicians and performers in one big show starting at 2 p.m.
The Pro West Finals Rodeo returns to the grandstand arena on Friday, Sept. 30, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 1, at 2 p.m.
The Pro West Circuit officials have made Yakima, and the Central Washington State Fair, the site for their two day championships for three years in a row.
During the finals the top 10 pro cowboys and cowgirls in each of the rodeo events from all over the Northwest will compete.
On the final Sunday of the Fair, Oct. 2, the Coca-Cola Grandstand will be the venue for the always-popular Demolition Derby, with all the car-crashing action starting at 2 p.m.
This year the Central Washington State Fair will feature some other new exciting free entertainment and attractions, including Walk on the Wild Side, an exhibit which features a number of exotic animals and reptiles; Butterfly Adventures, presented in the Washington State Building where people will get to enter a huge butterfly terrarium and be in and around 1,000 butterflies; and appearing in Oak Park is an interactive display called Barnville where children can milk a cow, see chicks hatching and experience other barnyard animals.
All these shows will be part of the fair for the entire 10-day run
Another new attraction set for this year's fair is Rock U. This huge exhibit will take over Pioneer Hall and will feature displays that show the history of rock-n-roll music. There will be a number of interactive displays and all kinds of photos, old record albums, video clips and other nostalgia from the beginning of rock-n-roll to today.
Tickets for all shows will go on sale on Friday, June 10, at noon at the fair ticket office and through TicketsWest locations.
To reserve seats call 1-800-325-SEAT.
For more information on this year's Central Washington State Fair and the 2011 entertainment line-up, go to the Fair's website at www.fairfun.com. This year's fair runs from Sept. 23 through Oct. 2, in Yakima.