Country superstar Ronnie Milsap is performing at the N.C. State Fair, and it’s kind of perfect.
This year’s State Fair concert lineup is out, and it’s the third year of the “Homegrown Music Series” with all-North Carolina acts (broadly defined). And like last year and the year before, all the shows are free to attend with paid fair admission.
The 150th State Fair is Oct. 12-22 at the State Fairgrounds.
Milsap, a Robbinsville native and Country Music Hall of Famer, is this year’s biggest name. He’ll headline Oct. 16 at Dorton Arena, the fifth night of the fair.
Other Dorton draws include rising country hitmakers Parmalee, 1990s-vintage Chapel Hill pop band Dillon Fence and nights given over to gospel, soul and beach music.
There are also a few out-of-state ringers, though with North Carolina connections. Before Jump, Little Children wound up in their hometown of Charleston, S.C., the band formed 26 years ago at the N.C. School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. In a nod to diversity, Jump’s opening act will be She Returns From War, fronted by transgender woman Hunter Park.
And Marcy Playground (of 1997’s “Sex and Candy” fame) is from New York but has numerous business ties to North Carolina through State Fair show producer Deep South Entertainment.
The opening night of the fair, Oct. 12, will also feature a battle of the bands with a lineup selected by public vote in September. Start checking ncstatefair.org for details on that.
Meantime, the complete lineup for all three stages goes like this:
Oct. 12 – “Battle of the Bands”
Oct. 13 – On The Border (tribute to The Eagles)
Oct. 15 – Come Together with Bay Leaf Church (worship)
Oct. 16 – Ronnie Milsap (country)
Oct. 20 – Chairmen of the Board featuring Ken Knox (beach)
Oct. 21 – Dillon Fence, Preeesh! (alternative)
Oct. 12 – Zoocru
Oct. 18 – Military Day
Heritage Circle Stage
Oct. 12 – Cane Mill Road
Oct. 13 – Hey Brothers
Oct. 14 – GrassStreet
Oct. 15 – Lang Sisters Band
Oct. 16 – Sideline
Oct. 17 – Massive Grass
Oct. 18 – Southern Magnolia
Oct. 19 – Three Jack Jenny
Oct. 20 – BackPorch Bluegrass
Oct. 21 – Shannon Baker and the Classic Stepbacks
Oct. 22 – Barefoot Movement
NC State Fair
For details and ticket information, go to ncstatefair.org.