Foothills scores big
Jul 08, 2013 | 665 views | 0 0 comments | 51 51 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Organizers of this year’s Foothills Country Fair have scored a bluegrass and country music coup by landing 14-time Grammy Award winner Ricky Skaggs for a July 26 concert that could pave the way for setting some crowd records.

The annual family salute to good music, good food and good times also promises to be a stompin’ good time with the addition of the famous Cashdales from Check Into Cash. For any who are unfamiliar, these massive horses are Clydesdales that were acquired by Cleveland businessman and philanthropist Allan Jones who promotes his company and community using their unique marketability.

Assuredly, this year’s country fair stands to be a memorable one as these special guests bring an added excitement to the event’s other homespun pleasures like pageants, games, a demolition derby and the much-beloved Kansas City Barbeque Society competition.

While we appreciate Country Fair chairman Louie Alford’s enthusiasm about the potential for record crowds at this year’s festivities, we’re not completely on board with his earlier assessment, “This is going to be a great event in America’s history.”

Yes, it will be a great event, but — and we offer this only in an endearing fashion toward the chairman’s lighthearted excitement — we’re not quite certain it will attain the status of making American history. Maybe if one of the Cashdales took the microphone and strummed a tune with Skaggs, perhaps that would be fodder for such historic documentation.

But we offer that only in jest. Truth be told, Alford and his hardworking crew of Foothills planners are to be commended on several fronts.

First, scoring Skaggs and the Cashdales is a huge addition to this year’s midsummer delight.

Second, the organizers are again working overtime to attract bigger-name interests. Recruiting the KCBS cookoff is one such example. This year’s latest additions are another.

Third, the Foothills Country Fair is a long-appreciated diversion for Cleveland and Bradley County area families who understand the value of quality entertainment in a children-friendly atmosphere.

Alford, who is best recognized as chairman of the Bradley County Commission and who gives his civic time generously — especially when it benefits his community — understands the strength of coupling a famous outsider like Skaggs with a familiar insider like the Cashdales.

“When you put together the Cashdales, a select group of Clydesdale horses, and Ricky Skaggs, one of the greatest entertainers of all time, then great things are going to happen,” Alford said when announcing this year’s keynote attractions. “I can’t imagine that anyone would want to miss it.”

Nor can we.

Alford and the Foothills Country Fair organizers did some impressive work attracting an entertainer of Skaggs’ caliber, and Jones is to be thanked for making available these prized horses of substantial size. The Cashdales are in high demand, so they don’t attend every function. In Jones’s words, “It has to be special. This is special. The Foothills Country Fair is as big as it gets.”

Pride in community and love of its people are traits shared by leaders like Alford and Jones. Alford even admits to losing some sleep at night knowing that Ricky Skaggs is coming to town. It is proof the Country Fair has continued to grow in its 10-year history.

We especially like Alford’s assessment, “... this year’s event will remind people why Cleveland is the best place to live in the world, and that it doesn’t get better than the Foothills Country Fair.”

True on both accounts.

We eagerly await further announcements from this year’s approaching shindig.

For those who can’t wait, visit the Country Fair’s website at www.foothillscountryfair; to get information about pageants, call Nancy Alford at 339-1989; and for information about sponsorships or vendors, call Louie Alford at 284-7738.

Make the calls.

And we’ll see you there.