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a supplement of:

Lynden Tribune & Ferndale Record Published Wednesday, August 4, 2021

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Fair Magazine Grandstand Features: Aug. 12-14, 16-21, 2021 pg. 8 Thurs-Fri, 12 & 13 — Demolition Derby pg. 12 Saturday, Aug. 14— Rock Fest pg. 16 Mon-Tues, 16 & 17 — Lynden PRCA Rodeo pg. 20 Wednesday, Aug. 18— Darci Lynne pg. 22 Thursday, Aug. 19 — Nelly pg. 24 Friday, Aug. 20 — Old Dominion pg. 27 Saturday, Aug. 21 — Party in the Dirt

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Grandstand Entertainment Thurs./Fri., Aug. 12-13

Demolition Derby Demo-derbying to open 10-day fair By Calvin Bratt For the Lynden Tribune

This year’s demolition derby will take place across two days, Thursday and Friday, Aug. 12-13. (Courtesy photo)

The main thing Ben Lagerwey was trained for is to do auto body restoration. And now his hobby is to build vehicles for demolition derbies. “The guys at work tell me I’m an idiot and I need to start restoring cars,” says the Lynden resident who works for the Ferndale public works department. Lagerwey is indeed skilled at putting together the pieces that will stand up to a metal-and-motor bashing in the Lynden fairgrounds arena. He has won the Northwest Washington Fair Demo Derby or its September follow-up at least five times, and he will be in the fracas once again in 2021 after the coronavirus cancelled things in 2020. In mid-July Lagerwey was prepping both a big car and a big truck to be entered in those categories in the Aug. 12-21 fair. The Demo Derby will still be the opening act of

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Running demolition derby cars isn’t always a money-making endeavor, but sometimes it can be. (Courtesy photo) the new 10-day fair, but now spread across the first two evenings in the grandstand Thursday and Friday, Aug. 12-13. His car is a full-body 1968 Plymouth Fury, painted a gaudy green, and Lagerwey was considering whether to apply another layer of clear coat to really make it shine. This car was supposed to be in a competition in Abbotsford, B.C., in March 2020, but we all know what happened to close the border to any such non-essential activity in the same month. So Lagerwey has had this car stored in a barn for a year and a half. He will make some adjustments for what is allowed at Lynden, but otherwise this roarin’ 18-footer is ready to go — with all the experience of a 27-year veteran

in demo-derbying behind it. In fact, Ben is just one of four Lagerwey brothers who are into this sport, but he is the one who started it all. Older brother Monty has been a regular competitor. The names of younger brothers Cody and Jared are sprinkled throughout the list of winners that coordinator Mike Scholten keeps of the Whatcom Demo Derby Club, and Jared was named Derby Man of the Year in 2019 after winning the fair. “I could go on and on about all they mean to the club,” Scholten said of the Lagerweys and their consistent contribution to local derbying. Until three years ago, Ben Lagerwey used stock engines in the Demo Derby vehicles he drove. Then friends

talked him into building his own engines — he is mostly self-taught — and so now the two entries in the 2021 fair are totally his handiwork. The truck got a test at a Bonners Ferry, Idaho, competition in July, and the engine “ran like a dream,” Lagerwey said. It was only a disabled wheel that relegated him to a third-place finish. Of the Fury Lagerwey says, “That engine has never been in a derby before.” When it roars to life, the estimated 425 horsepower sounds ready to take on all challengers. The base of operations these days for Ben Lagerwey is a wood-heated house and its agricultural outbuildings on Hampton Road. Not far up Northwood Road is the farm where Ben and his

four brothers grew up doing dairying. Look for a hulk or two, or more, on the premises as evidence of a Demo Derby guy’s hangout. Using a heavyduty trailer with a winch, Ben hauls home promising old cars and trucks from throughout the Northwest. With his good eye for what works, he has become somewhat of a dealer for all of the pieces that go into building a successful Demo Derby entry. It isn’t exactly a moneymaking hobby. But he loves it and it takes up any spare time. He is appreciative of his sponsor across many years, the local New York Life office of Shane Van Dalen, for See Derby on 10

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Derby Continued from 9

Building a car for the demolition derby costs at least $5,000. (Courtesy photo)

the support. Ben Lagerwey also recently formed a company, Krafty Dutchman Racing, just as a way to write off his losses. A person is at least $5,000 invested into creating a credible Demo Derby entry. “You can sell a motor and you can get some of your money back,” he says of his way of dealing. “You can buy all this stuff online, but it costs an arm and a leg.” As an example of how creative this business gets, with a little mixing and matching and a whole lot of welding, Ben Lagerwey notes that his big truck for the Lynden derby — actually to be driven by a competitor friend — is fundamentally a 1969 Dodge, with a 1967 Chevy bed, a 1973 Ford tailgate, a Chrysler motor and a Chevy transmission. “It took three weeks to straighten out the frame before

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Ferndale Record I put the body back on it. And look what you get: an amazing derby truck. And then it gets all wrecked,” he said with a laugh. The fact that the 2021 fair derby is over two evenings instead of one day’s afternoon and evening amounts to a big deal to a guy like Lagerwey. “It gives us more time to fix them, a whole day instead of a few hours.” In fact, his main concern, thinking ahead, is that vehicles will be fixed up so well in 24 hours that they will be truly wrecked and not repairable for the now standard September show in the Lynden grandstand. It is rumored that this may be Ben’s last year actually driving in the fair’s Demo Derby. He will have his girlfriend, Lindie Johnson, in the passenger seat with him so she can know what it’s like. However it goes, he could definitely continue to be a mentor, adviser and dealer in parts to whoever wants to carry on.

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An extra day of demolition derby action means more time for drivers like Lagerwey to fix up their cars. (Courtesy photo)

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Grandstand Entertainment

Saturday, August 14

Rock Fest Not the first time for Lou Gramm Former Foreigner frontman to play Northwest Rock Fest By Bill Helm

LYNDEN — Growing up in New York state, Louis Andrew Grammatico was weaned on music. His father was a trumpet player in high school, had his own big band in the ‘40s and ‘50s. That band, their son recalls, is where mom and dad met. But Grammatico, better known to the world as Lou Gramm, was smitten by the Beatles. Like many children of the ‘60s, Gramm still remembers seeing them on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 1964. “I was so blown away,” Gramm told the Lynden Tribune recently. “It was like a

Photo courtesy Lou Gramm

See Lou Gramm on 14

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John Payne and his band will play two shows at the Aug 14 Northwest Rock Fest. One of those shows, he and his band will back former Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm. (Courtesy Erik Nielsen)

Singer/bassist John Payne comes to Lynden By Bill Helm

LYNDEN — As musicians go, John Payne has lived a blessed life. Although Payne didn’t form the prog-pop band Asia, he did spend more time with the band than any of its other singers past or present. The vocalist/bassist has also worked with the vocalists from Cheap Trick, Foreigner, Journey, Kansas, Night Ranger, Santana, Starship, The Tubes, Toto and Yes. Payne, on Aug. 14, will be part of the Northwest Washington Fair’s Rock Fest as he plays two shows, an hour with his band, another hour he and his band will back Lou

Gramm, formerly of Foreigner. “I am very lucky to work with such talented and dedicated musicians,” Payne told the Lynden Tribune recently. “Each of them are at the top of their game, never dial it in and are consummate perfectionists. Also everyone in the band sings really well which makes for great harmonies.” Payne explained recently that he has enjoyed working with so many different musicians over the years because they “feed off of each other, (and) also the audience.” “This creates a very different vibe than say, when we are recording,” Payne said. “We decided long ago to continue to enjoy these shows that we must also be friends and sup-

port one another musically. This friendship extends to the iconic vocalists that we work with also.” Born in England in 1958, Payne began his Asia career in 1991 when he replaced singer and bass player John Wetton. The request to join the band came from founding member Geoffrey Downes. With Asia, Payne appeared on eight studio records and toured the states as well as overseas. Payne said that “Sole Survivor,” “Only Time Will Tell” and “Time Again” are “amongst my favorites to perform live.” As for which songs he’ll perform for the Lynden crowd, he said he’ll “keep that a secret until the show.”

“But be assured all the classic hits and more will be played,” Payne said. “We are very much looking forward to the show, and if anyone sees me after the show, (they should) come and say hi.” Payne has played to as few as 50 people, to as many as 180,000. Both require the same degree of virtuosity, he said, although “sometimes the smaller shows are more personal and intimate.” If there’s anything on Payne’s bucket list in music, it’s that he’s “always wanted to work with Stevie Wonder.” “As an all-around vocalist, musician and songwriter, it doesn’t get any better,” Payne said. “We can all have dreams.”

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Gramm was still going by his given Bname Grammatico OBCA T. C O M when he met Mick Jones. To® would form the gether, they light went off.” Gramm’s parents eventu- band Foreigner. At the time, ally left the music business to the band was known as Trigraise their family. But music is ger. By the 1980s, Foreigner something Gramm more than had recorded eight top-20 made into a career. One of the founding singles, the first band since members of the rock icons The Beatles to have so many Foreigner, Gramm will per- singles to start their career. form with former Asia bass Gramm performed vocals on player John Payne and his all of Foreigner’s hits includband at the Northwest Wash- ing “Urgent,” “Break It Up,” ttachment to the land is just one of the many things we have ington Fair’s Northwest Rock “Say You Will,” “I Don’t Want Without You,” and Fest, ® Saturday, Aug. 14.was borntotoLive mmon. Bobcat equipment work on a farm With five musical perfor- “Juke Box Hero,” which he e than 60 years ago.Rock Today this wrote onhard-working the drums. mances, Fest you startscan at put “I’m a drummer first of 3:30 p.m. d to work on your slice of heaven: new Bobcat compact all,” Gramm said. “I started playing when I was 8. Trigger to Foreigner ors. They’reFrom all Bobcat. They’re all you. I put “Juke Box Hero” Singing with the band together on the drums. I got Black Sheep in the mid-‘70s, ove a good homecoming.

it together to play Mick. Although he wasn’t thrilled, it became a rock standard. Now he likes it.” Gramm also co-wrote most of the band’s songs, including the hit ballads “Waiting for a Girl Like You”, which spent 10 weeks at No. 2 on the 1981-1982 American Hot 100, and “I Want to Know What Love Is,” which was a number one hit in eight countries.

in 2009. “I went to church when I was a kid,” Gramm said. “As I grew older, I didn’t go. With Foreigner, we were so busy touring.” Gramm admits he also fell into the traps of the rockand-roll lifestyle. In 1997, he went to rehabilitation for his chemical dependency. Not only did he find his sobriety, Gramm also reconnected with God. “We were truly running on fumes,” he said. “I begged God to take this burden from me. I was sick of living my life this way.” Gramm said that while in treatment he learned about addiction – and that he wasn’t alone. “My concern was staying

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NEW BOBCAT COMPACT IS ALL YOU. We love aTRACTOR good homecoming.

Sobriety – and God In the early-1990s, Gramm left Foreigner for a solo career. He formed the band Shadow King, which released its self-titled album in late-1991 before he returned to Foreigner. Gramm stayed in Foreigner until 2003. He released a Christian rock album


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15 Photo courtesy Lou Gramm

alive and (my) recovery,” Gramm said. Lou Gramm with John Payne and his band John Payne, one-time singer and bass player with prog-pop band Asia, will bring his band to back Gramm at the Northwest Washington Fair’s Northwest Rock Fest, Saturday, Aug. 14. Gramm, who has become accus-

tomed to working with Payne, said the former Asia frontman is a “very openminded” musician. “He has an appreciation for the harder stuff,” Gramm said. “I never have to worry about the Foreigner songs sounding too light when they play them. Some of the sections are handled a little more complicated as musicians, and I think that’s fine to let these people shine

as musicians. Because when the section comes over and it’s back to the chorus, it’s heavy. All the players in the band are excellent players. You can tell they have chops.” Lou Gramm, with John Payne and his band will play for about an hour on Aug. 14. Gramm said that the band will play several of Foreigner’s most popular songs.


2021 Fair Magazine

Grandstand Entertainment

Lynden Tribune

Mon./Tue., Aug. 16/17

Lynden PRCA Rodeo Rodeo moves dates, keeps stock contractor C5 returns to provide stock; multiple commemorative nights planned By Brent Lindquist

The Lynden PRCA rodeo will include such events as bareback riding (above, page 18), steer-wrestling (page 17 and 19) and several more. (File photos)

The Lynden PRCA Rodeo is a staple of the Northwest Washington Fair at this point, but there’s a side of the rodeo that many fairgoers may not even see. “Half of the score comes from the horse or bull, half comes from the rider,” fair CEO Chris Pickering said. “The animal performs so the athlete can perform. You have to have a good ride to get a good score.” The rodeo stock is just as important as the rodeo cow-

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boys brought in to perform, Pickering said. That’s why the fair is going with C5 Rodeo out of Alberta and Montana for its rodeo stock once again in 2021. C5 Rodeo Company was founded in 2010 by Vern McDonald and has since grown to two locations in Lac La

2021 Fair Magazine

Biche, Alberta, and Helena, Montana which span just over 8,500 acres between the two ranches. C5 has more than 150 mares and 20 stallions in its breeding program, bringing its numbers to more than 700 head of horses and 100 bucking bulls, making it one

of North America’s top stock providers. More than 30 locations worldwide make use of its stock. “We’ve just been real existed to see their stock performing so well,” Pickering said. “Just for an audience who doesn’t necessarily understand all the nuances of


the rodeo, you need a balance where your athletes and animals are of the same caliber.” In addition to C5 returning, announcer Jody Carper and rodeo clown Matt Merritt are both returning to the See Rodeo on 18


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Rodeo Continued from 17

rodeo after successful showings in 2019, Pickering said. The rodeo event will see a shift in dates at this year’s fair; normally, it has run Tuesday and Wednesday, rodeo coordinator Selena Burgess said. “We’ve moved to a Monday-Tuesday schedule,” Burgess said. The date isn’t the only change. The setup will look a bit different from what fairgoers are used to, she said. “The setup is going to be more like a fuller stadium setup with seating on both sides of the arena. From a fan’s perspective, that should be great,” she said. Both grandstand rodeo nights will feature commemorative dedications, including First Responders’ Day Aug. 16 and Military Appre-

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19 ciation Night Aug. 17. That’s also Military Appreciation Day at the fair. Aug. 16 is also Tough Enough To Wear Pink Night at the rodeo. “There are some exciting things happening on each of those nights to help make them special,” Burgess said. She said her favorite part of working the rodeo is getting to see all the different facets of it. “I’m really fortunate because I get to work with the volunteers and the contractors, and just seeing the guest experience in general, so I feel like I get to see a little piece of all of it. And we have such a great group of volunteers,” Burgess said. Just like every year, the Lynden PRCA Rodeo will feature bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, bull riding, steer wrestling, team roping, tie-down roping and barrel racing, as well as the classic mutton busting for youngsters.

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Deane and Floyd Sandell stand with their Grand Champion Guernsey and Reserve Grand Champion at the Lynden Fair, Aug. 1957. Photo by Jack Carver. Whatcom Museum 1995.1.27239.

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Grandstand Entertainment Wednesday, August 18

Darci Lynne Darci Lynne coming to Northwest Washington Fair Singer/ventriloquist Darci Lynne is the youngest contestant to ever win NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” as she garnered more than 87 million views on the show’s YouTube channel and the most votes for a final performance in the show’s history. Lynne won the hearts of America with her sweetheart disposition and undeniable talent. In 2018, she kicked off her national tour selling out her first headlining family friendly show in just six minutes, continually adding shows to meet the over-

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, singer/ ventriloquist Darci Lynne will perform at the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden. (Courtesy photo)

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Darci Lynne has been seen on “America’s Got Talent,” “America’s Got Talent: Champions,” NBC’s “Little Big Shots,” “Food Networks” kids Baking Championship,” “Ellen,” NBC’s “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” and the “Today Show.” (Courtesy photos) whelming demand. On the heels of a record-breaking 2020, Lynne has kicked off her 2021 “My Lips Are Sealed (Except When They’re Not)” National Tour where she is sharing her passion for performance and bringing her enchanting show from New York to Nevada. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18, Darci Lynne will perform at the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden. Lynne told the Lynden Tribune recently that she enjoys the more intimate shows such as the Fair because “the people are so welcoming and supportive.” “It helps me have so much fun and give a better show whenever people are just happy to be there,” Lynne said. “I enjoy making people happy with my performing. It is such a joy to have the ability to make someone’s day, and even inspire someone to follow their dreams.” Growing up in Oklahoma, Lynne has always been close to her family and relies on their support and encouragement. In her younger years, Lynne participated in talent-based pageants to over-

come her shyness. Lynne was soon introduced to the art of ventriloquism and decided to try it out for herself. Her hard work, grit and discipline developed from her early days of gymnastics where she practiced thirty hours a week. After only having her first puppet for two weeks, Lynne began performing in talent shows in her home state and beyond. She was determined to audition for her first talent show, ultimately leading her to audition for the biggest talent show on television. The stage is now a platform where Lynne can open up and display her incredible talents for the world to see. Her polished, impeccable skill as a ventriloquist at such a young age is jaw dropping and sure to inspire the next generation to keep the craft alive, but when she sings, her voice leaves her audiences breathless. Lynne has performed at the Grand Ole Opry, opened for Fergie at Caesar’s Palace on New Year’s Eve, and starred in her own NBC Christmas Special “Darci

Lynne: My Hometown Christmas.” Lynne kicked off 2021 with a bang, starring in Nickelodeon’s hit show “Unfiltered,” which has been renewed for a second season, and she has made appearances in Nick favorites like “All That,” “The Substitute” and “Side Hustle.” She then sang on Nickelodeon’s “2021 Kid’s Choice Awards.” Lynne’s popularity on stage and TV has expanded onto the social media scene. Her Instagram has reached more than 864K followers @itsdarcilynne and her TikTok profile soared from 7,000 followers on Jan. 16 to an astounding 2.4 million followers and 42.4 million total likes. Lynne’s Tik Tok profile can be seen at Lynne has been seen on “America’s Got Talent,” “America’s Got Talent: Champions,” NBC’s “Little Big Shots,” “Food Networks” kids Baking Championship,” “Ellen,” NBC’s “The Kelly Clarkson Show,” and the “Today Show.” For more information visit

2021 Fair Magazine


Grandstand Entertainment

Lynden Tribune

Thursday, August 19


Nelly has been active in the music industry since the early 1990s, but found mainstream success as a solo artist in 2000. (Courtesy photos)

Nelly taking the stage in Lynden Rapper making way to Whatcom County His music career

technically got started in 1993, but Nelly’s solo career took off in 2000 with his debut album “Country Grammar” dropping and debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and peaked at No. 1. The album was certified 9x platinum in 2004 and he was a special guest at the Super Bowl XXXV halftime show. Nelly’s career has spanned two decades and hasn’t quite slowed down as he’ll be hitting the grandstand stage at the Northwest Washington Fair for a performance on Thursday, Aug. 19, a performance originally scheduled for 2020. He followed up his

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Aside from music, Nelly has appeared in both movies and television. (Courtesy photos) debut album, his best selling album to date, with “Nellyville” in 2002 which has sold more than 7.6 million records worldwide. The album would have two No. 1 hits with “Hot in Herre” and “Dilemma” which featured Kelly Rowland. Both singles received Grammy nominations and would go on to win the award. Nelly found continued success in 2004 per-

forming on the Super Bowl stage again with Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Kid Rock and Jessica Simpson. Later that year, he released two albums, “Sweat” and “Suit”, with the former debuting at No. 2 and “Suit” at No. 1. It was “Suit” where fans got a first taste of what would come later in Nelly’s career in crossover hits with the

song “Over and Over Again” which featured country artist Tim McGraw. Of recent memory, his 2010 album “5.0” featured the single “Just a Dream” which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is his highest charting song since “Grillz” in 2005. A remix to country music duo Florida Georgia Line’s song “Cruise” featuring Nelly

was released in 2013, marking another country-rap collaboration for the rapper. Nelly released another album, “M.O.” in 2013 and took further dives into country sounds linking up with Florida Georgia Line once again in 2020 with the song “Lil Bit”. He also made appearances on remixes of country singer Kane Brown’s song “Cool Again”

and Brett Kissel’s “She Drives Me Crazy”. “Lil Bit” is set to be featured on an upcoming country-influenced EP titled “The Heartland”. In addition to his long lasting music career, Nelly has also made splashes in film and television with his film debut coming in 2001 in the independent film “Snipes”. His biggest film role to date was in the 2005 remake of “The Longest Yard” which starred Adam Sandler. The movie’s soundtrack also featured Nelly’s songs “Errtime” and “Fly Away”. His television credits include appearances on “CSI: NY”, “90210” and a recurring role on the parody show “Real Husbands of Hollywood”. He was also a contestant on “Dancing With The Stars” in 2020. Tickets for Nelly at the Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden are available now. VIP and preferred seating for the show is sold out, but reserved seating is still available for $35. Gate admission to the fair is not included with grandstand tickets, but is required for entry. VIP tickets do include gate admission. - Hailey Palmer

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2021 Fair Magazine


Grandstand Entertainment

Friday, August 20

Old Dominion Old Dominion headlines 2021 fair

Friday-night act brings songwriting chops with country, rock bonafides

Old Dominion is playing Friday, Aug. 20 at the Northwest Washington Fair and has been called one of the biggest acts in the event’s history. (Courtesy photo)

When the Northwest Washington Fair announced that Old Dominion would headline its 2021 grandstand lineup, CEO Chris Pickering said it was the fair’s biggest show yet. That’s high praise, especially for a fair that has its roots all the way back in 1890 and that once welcomed Trisha Yearwood and surprise guest Garth Brooks to its stage. That said, turn on country radio anytime in the past six years or so and there would be Old Dominion, producing hit after hit with songs such as “One

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This photograph is Old Dominion’s self-titled album cover. (Courtesy photo) Man Band,” “Make It Sweet,” “Break Up With Him,” “Snapback” and “Written in the Sand,” among others. This makes Old Dominion a major addition to the 2021 fair, as they are scheduled to play Friday, Aug. 20. Much as its name suggests, four of Old Dominion’s members hail from Virginia. The group has its origins with lead singer Matthew Ramsey and drummer Whit Sellers playing drumline at rival Virginia high schools. Ramsey went on to attend Virginia Commonwealth University before heading to Nashville to be a songwriter. He met guitarist and keyboardist

Trevor Rosen in Nashville while Ramsey worked as a solo recording artist and songwriter. Sellers went to James Madison University after graduating from high school, where he met bassist Geoff Sprung and guitarist Brad Tursi. All five of the members who went on to comprise Old Dominion ended up in Nashville, one way or another, to write songs. They did just that, and many of country music’s biggest hits of the era have a member of Old Dominion on their writing team. The Band Perry’s “Better Dig Two” and Blake Shelton’s “Sangria” were both co-written by Rosen, and Dierks Bentley’s

“Say You Do” was initially written by Rosen and Ramsey for Old Dominion before Bentley covered it. Tyler Farr’s “A Guy Walks Into a Bar” was co-written by Tursi, and Ramsey wrote Kenny Chesney’s “Save It For a Rainy Day” with Tursi. Artists like Chris Young, Josh Turner, Michael Ray, Kelsea Ballerini and Chris Morgan all recorded songs written by Old Dominion members. Originally, Old Dominion formed as a way to showcase the writing talents of its members. However, as the band began to find its footing, it became more and more obvious that Old Dominion was meant to be. They

played club dates and house gigs and managed to gain a great deal of popularity on SiriusXM satellite radio. The band signed to Thirty Tigers before heading over to Sony Music Nashville RCA. The band’s first EP dropped in 2014, debuting at number 33 on the Top Country Album charts. The EP featured the song “Break Up With Him,” which would go on to be the band’s first Top-10 hit. After signing with Nashville RCA in 2015, the band opened for Kenny Chesney before announcing their debut album, “Meat and Candy,” which See Old Dominion on page 26

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Old Dominion

Old Dominion’s biggest hit is “Break Up With Him,” which reached number-one on the Country Airplay charts. (Courtesy photo)

Continued from 25

was released in November 2015. Before its release, “Break Up With Him” hit number-one on Country Airplay, and the album’s second single, “Snapback,” would reach numbertwo on the same chart in June of 2016. The band’s second RCA album, “Happy Endings,” fea-

tured the hit single “No Such Thing as a Broken Heart,” which hit number-one on the Country Airplay charts. The album released in August 2017, also featuring the singles “Written in the Sand” and “Hotel Key.” The band’s third album, the self-titled “Old Dominion,” featured the singles “Make It Sweet,” “One Man Band” and “Some People Do.” “One Man

Band” became the band’s highest-peaking Billboard Hot 100 track to date. “It’s so incredible to be able to sit in your room with your instruments and your bandmates and feel that chemistry and follow it wherever it goes,” Ramsey said. Old Dominion is a big deal for the fair, especially in its first 10-day iteration and in its return from cancellation

last year due to COVID-19. “We promised this would be our biggest show yet,” CEO Chris Pickering stated in a release. “And it will be, from number of concert-goers to production value.” The fair will move its stage back for the performance, which will allow an additional 2,500 guests to fill the standing-room only dirt arena. — Brent Lindquist

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Grandstand Entertainment


Saturday, August 21

Party in the Dirt 2021 Fair touts a ‘Party in the Dirt’ Southbound, Eli Young Band, Canaan Smith, Parmalee, Jamie O’Neal, headlining fair’s country music festival This year’s Northwest Washington Fair brings with it a new way to enjoy the event’s iconic musical presentations. The 2021 “Party in the Dirt” is the fair’s very own version of a day-long music festival. Set for Saturday, Aug. 21, the festival will feature three areas: a VIP area, a general admission area and a general-admission per garden, all with a view of the stage and the five acts headSee Party on page 28

Local favorite Southbound will play this year’s fair at the Party in the Dirt, a music festival-style event showcasing some major country talent. (Bill Helm/Lynden Tribune) |

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Continued from 27

lining the event. These headliners include Eli Young Band, Canaan Smith, Parmalee, Jamie O’Neal and Whatcom County’s very own hard-country act, Southbound.

Southbound reintroduced themselves earlier this year with a concert at the fair. (Bill Helm/Lynden Tribune)

Southbound The year 2021 has been a huge year for Southbound, with the band’s own live concert earlier in the year at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds, then another at Whatcom Old Settlers, among other shows they have played. The band consists of Tim Morrow, Bert Edkins, Randy Finch, Roger Wilkinson and Brad Miller, and it formed in the county back in 1993. The band played a show at the fair in March and then another in June, and

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29 Morrow said back in June that the crowds have been very receptive of the band’s “hard country” sound. Finch had been calling around to get some gigs for the band, which was ready to get out and start playing again in 2020 before the pandemic shut everything down. Southbound plays a mix of originals from an album they released in the 1990s and popular covers the run the gamut from classic country to hard rock. Eli Young Band Formed by bandmates who met as University of North Texas students, Eli Young Band consists of Mike Eli, James Young, Jon Jones and Chris Thompson. Their self-titled debut album was released in 2002, followed by multiple other hit-making releases. Eli Young Band has four number-one singles under

Parmalee boasts two number-one singles in its career. (Courtesy photo)

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its proverbial belt: “Even If It Breaks Your Heart,” “Drunk Last Night,” “Love Ain’t” and, the top country song of 2011, “Crazy Girl.” Eli Young Band has spent time touring with acts like Jason Aldean, Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, and Darius Rucker. Canaan Smith The Virginia-born Canaan Smith debuted in 2015 with his album “Bronco,” and he prides himself on no-frills, honest, clever music inspired by the likes of George Strait. “I moved to Nashville to make this kind of music,” Smith said. “I think these new songs showcase the best version of myself. I’m a country music singer and Continued on page 32

Canaan Smith debuted in 2015 with the album “Bronco.” (Courtesy photo)

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Eli Young Band was formed by bandmates who met as University of North Texas students. (Courtesy photo)

songwriter — not an artist who’s in county music, trying to make a new sound. The soul of what I do is just me and my acoustic guitar. Smith’s first big hit was “Love You Like That” from 2014, prior to his debut album release. The Platinumselling song hit number-one on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart and helped Smith burst onto the scene in a very big way. Smith now works with Round Here Records, founded by Florida Georgia Line’s Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley in 2019. His involvement with the label helped bring about the song “Colder Than You,” one of his newer tracks. “I think ‘Colder Than You’ came out of a place in me that I had, for what-

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33 ever reason, steered away from for a while,” Smith said. “I think it’s natural for people to have full-circle moments in their career, but when I moved here, the starting point for me was a much more organic country sound. I was wearing a cowboy hat, belt buckle, the starched jeans, everything. Somewhere along the way, while you’re finding yourself as an artist, you side-step, and you do what you do to get where you’re going. Sometimes it leads you back to where you started, and this is definitely one of those times for me.” Parmalee Parmalee has two number-one singles in its catalog, as well as two full-length albums. The band was formed in the small town of Parmele, North Carolina, as brothers Matt and Scott Thomas were

Southbound continues its run of local shows with a big one at the fair. (Courtesy photo)


See Party on 34

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Southbound first began playing music together way back in 1993. (Bill Helm/Lynden Tribune) Continued from 33

performing with their father in a music group named Jerry Thomas and the Thomas Brothers Band. When their father retired, Matt and Scott decided to form their own band. They met Joshua McSwain in college, and bassist Barry Knox is a cousin. Parmalee first played in 2001 at a local bar in Parmele. They eventually signed with Stoney Creek Records and have produced such hits as “Feels like

Carolina” and “Just the Way,” a 2021 collaboration with Blanco Brown. Jamie O’Neal Tribune and Record readers may remember O’Neal’s name from her role as producer of local-born singer Rachele Lynae a few years ago. Country fans know her for her hit songs like “There is No Arizona” and “When I Think About Angels,” as well as “Shiver,” “Trying to Find Atlantis” and “Somebody’s Hero.”

O’Neal has written with such notable artists as Reba McEntire, Martina McBride, Leann Rimes, Cece Winans, Idina Menzel and others, and her most recent album was actually released in 2020. “I’m so happy to finally get some new original music out there for the fans,” O’Neal said. “The World Goes On” is the first song from the album, which is titled “Now and Then.” — Brent Lindquist

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Fair boosts Lynden economy

From a sales tax perspective, the fair is a boon to Lynden’s economy, in addition to the activities it provides for locals to participate in. (File photo) By Izzie Lund for the Lynden Tribune

The annual Northwest Washington Fair is again coming to town. With it, a boost to Lynden’s economy. Anthony Burrows, finance director for the City of Lynden, and Scott Korthuis, mayor of Lynden, both said that it is hard to track the fair’s

economic impact in numbers – there’s no admission fee or tax – and it is hard to attribute overall sales tax numbers from businesses specifically to the fair. “Typically, August is our highest sales tax month of the year and that could be attributed to the fair,” Korthuis said. “There’s nothing else unusual about August that would make

it the highest month of the year.” Burrows said that while it is hard to track, it is still clear that the fair boosts sales tax and attracts people to the community.  “There’s a direct benefit from the sales tax revenues to the businesses,” Burrows said. “But there’s that indirect benefit that helps market or sell

Lynden. In that way, people will come back to those stores or that restaurant or whatever it is that they saw when they visited the fair.” Chris Pickering, chief executive officer for the fair, said the fair attracts people from outside the county. He said the Fair has a large Canadian See Economy on page 48

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Rodeo before the big dance The Northwest Washington Fair changes and evolves. The rodeo was integrated into the fair offerings a few years ago. This year, another version of a rodeo is being introduced for the first time. The Jaripeo Baile, meaning ‘Rodeo Before the Big Dance,’ is coming. While some may get excited at the mere mention of this, others may be a bit curious as to what it is. “The Northwest Washington Fair is a reflection of our community,” Fair CEO Chris Pickering said. “We seek to make all of our community members feel welcome and provide entertainment for the whole family. The Jaripeo Baile is a traditional Mexican rodeo and concert, with bull riding and lots of live music. All are welcome to experience this unique cultural event.”

Jaripeo is a form of bull-riding developed in the 16th century. (Courtesy photo) According to Wikipedia, but evolved into a form where Jaripeo is a form of bull rid- the rider simply tries to ride the ing  practiced mainly in the animal until it stops bucking. But what sets the JarNorth of Mexico that developed in the 16th Century. Originally, it ipeo  apart from rodeos many was a form of  bullfighting where Pacific Northwesterners are fathe rider rode the bull to death, miliar with is that it is done to

the beat of a live band. And in the United States, Rodrigo Loera and his Toros Azteca are synonymous with the best of both worlds. His bulls paired with some of the best bull riders, Las Aves del Pacifico will knock your socks off. Bring the whole family. There will be fun games with cash prizes that will make you laugh nonstop. Ten Toros Aztecas will be paired with its best rider with non-stop live music from doors open till the end. Marco Flores  started his music career at the age of 8. His father was in a mariachi band. That is how he learned to play various instruments. His Banda “La Jerez” is one of the best ranchera bands in all of Mexico. Its nickname is  “the number one Banda Jerez.” The band consists of three trumpets, three clarinets, three

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There’s a grandstand VIP package available for Jaripeo Baile for $149. (Courtesy photo)

41 trombones, two tenor horns, a big tambora, three tarolas (drums), two congas, one wiro, and last but not least a big TUBA. Flores is also a composer, having written more than 400 songs. Some of his biggest hits include, “Tamarindo,” “La Baraja,” “La Iguana,” “Cerveza Helada,” “Una Mujer Casada,” and “Billete Verde.” A Grandstand VIP package is available for this event for $149. Gates will open at 1 p.m. This will allow fairgoers the following: air-conditioned restroom trailers, full no-host bar, phone charging stations, shaded backstage lounge, best seats in the house, premium parking, and a $25 fair food voucher. Grandstand festival seating is also available for $45. The event starts at 4 p.m. and tickets can be purchased online at fair-and-rodeo/northwestwashington-fair/grandstandentertainment-tickets/jaripeobaile-familiar. — Elisa Claassen

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Hits, deep cuts, part of Barracuda’s charm

D.L. Car, singer of Heart tribute band Barracuda. (Courtesy photos/Barracuda)

Heart tribute band to play Aug. 14 Rock Fest By Bill Helm

D.L. Car appreciates a good hit song like many people. But the Canadian singer is actually a big fan of a band’s deep cuts, the songs not everyone is familiar with. Car is lead singer of the Barracuda, a Heart tribute band. Barracuda is one of five bands scheduled to play the Northwest Washington Fair’s Rock Fest, Aug.

14. Although Car didn’t disclose the band’s Rock Fest set list of songs, she did say that the band will play its hits as well as a few songs perhaps less well known. “Barracuda remains one of everyone’s favorites,” said Car, nicknamed ‘Almost Ann’. “But some of Heart’s earlier stuff is even more interesting. That’s where we like to go.” Inspiration Growing up on a farm in Manitoba,

Car was told time and time again how much her singing reminded folks of Heart singer Ann Wilson. “Ann was a big influence on me,” Car said. “When I moved away, a friend who was a musician would feed me stuff to listen to. Ann Wilson’s voice, my God. (I said to myself ) I want to do this. Every phrase, every sound, I had to know how to do it.” See Barracuda on 45

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Before Barracuda, Car was backup singer in a band that played tribute to Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison. Named Legends of Rock and Roll, the band traveled her Canadian homeland as well as the states. It was that experience that inspired Car to have her own band – a band that would pay tribute to her favorite band. “I started realizing people appreciated they could come to our shows more often,” he said. “It all appealed to me.” ‘More of a permanent thing’ As singer of Barracuda, Car and her bandmates mostly played together on weekends. “Over the years, we’ve evolved into more of a permanent thing,” she said. That doesn’t mean the band members don’t also have other gigs. But Barracuda, from Vancouver, British Columbia, performs the music of Heart with “style, presence, and a true passion for the songs that have beSee Barracuda on 46

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Barracuda Continued from 45

come beloved classics to fans worldwide.” Barracuda states on its website that Roger Fisher, Heart’s guitarist and founding member, “has officially endorsed Barracuda.” “Roger has also joined the band on stage for numerous performances, creating a truly authentic experience for Heart fans,” the website states. Barracuda, as with Heart, is a five-piece unit. Joining Car in the band are Sarah Moon and Ray Roper on guitar, Billy Mendoza on bass, and Curtis Michael Leippi on the drums. Barracuda covers music from Heart’s first album “Dreamboat Annie,” to “Brigade.” Released in March 1976, “Dreamboat Annie” includes the songs “Crazy on You” and “Magic Man.” “Brigade,” released in March

Sarah Moon and D.L. Car, from left, of Heart tribute band Barracuda. (Courtesy


1990, includes “All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You,” and “Stranded,” and just about everything in between. With Heart’s 2013 induc-

tion into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a resurgence of the groups undeniable list of hits has been spreading, and demand for the seeing

the group perform has never been higher. Learn more about Barracuda at

Barracuda: Meet the band D.L. Car (lead vocals, flute) Coming from a large family that loved to sing, Donna ‘D.L’ Car started singing at the age of 6. Community talent shows, television and radio programs situated in rural Manitoba, Canada. D.L. Car early musical influences ranged from country, rock and R&B. D.L. has spent the last 45 years being inspired and learning her craft. D.L. who has always been compared to Ann Wilson, also acknowledges Pat Benatar, Linda Ronstadt, Aretha Franklin and Steve Perry as influences on her career. Sarah Moon (guitars, vocals) Sarah Moon grew up on stages and started singing  professionally and tour-

ing at the age of 12. Classically trained with a background in choir, jazz and opera, Moon grew to find her roots in dive bars and clubs. On the Today Show and also singing Carnegie Hall in 1996, Moon was honored to sing with Shania Twain in 1999. Moon has released a Blues album and an Americana album, with a rock record to be released in 2022. Learn more at Ray Roper (guitars, vocals, keyboards) Ray Roper is a veteran west coast singer/guitar player/ producer/engineer from the Vancouver area of B.C. Initial successes were with Canadian Recording Icon’s “Stonebolt,

in which he played, sang on and co-produced five albums for Parachute/Casablanca then RCA records which yielded multiple hits, the biggest of which was “I will still Love you,” which went Top 30 on Billboard and was nominated for a Grammy and featured Roper on lead vocals. Roper then had a stint as head engineer at Universal Institute of Recording Arts of Vancouver. After countless CD productions, performing on other artists albums and demoes, Roper decided that his musician’s soul needed to perform live, so he joined North America’s Best Heart Tribute “Barracuda,” handling keyboards, guitars and vocals. Billy Mendoza (bass, vocals)

Billy Mendoza has played bass and sang lead and background vocals while touring with Suzanne Gitzi and Lynn Taylor Donavon, also recording Artist Phil Kuys, which led to a performance at the legendary Blue Bird Cafe in Nashville. Mendoza has toured with Long John Baldry and recorded with Harry Manx. Scotty Gamble  (drums, percussion, vocals) Scott Gamble is a first call drummer/percussionist currently living in Summerland, B.C. Comfortable in any style, he has performed with many amazing individuals and bands and origins, from reggae to metal, folk to musical theatre.

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Economy Continued from 39

According to Lynden Chamber Executive Director Gary Vis, the value of the fair for the local community can’t really be quantified. (File photo)

base, and the Fair’s most recent survey says 15% of its guests are from outside Whatcom County. Gary Vis, executive director at the Lynden Chamber of Commerce, said the fair has both positive and negative impacts on the economy. He said some businesses, like furniture stores, hardware stores and paint stores may experience a slight negative effect due to decreased business.  “[For this] negative that you’d want to erase, it’s also something that’s bringing maybe your employees and your staff and maybe your family together, so it’s a balance,” Vis said.  However, he also said the fair gives back to the economy in several ways.  “I can say that I’m fairly confident that most of the

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Ferndale Record money that goes toward the fair as an organization does manage to get back into the community,” Vis said. “They’re buying supplies, they’re paying wages, businesses that are supplying them services will go back into the economy, entertainers maybe from the local area, those types of things.” Pickering said the fair is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit, which means they do not receive federal funding and they pour all of the money they make from the fair back into the fairgrounds.  “[The fair] funds everything that happens throughout the year, so that we’re able to provide reasonably-priced businesses for people to use for their events,” Pickering said. “The quinceañera here, or even a memorial service.”  Pickering also said there are businesses who make most of their money annually from the fair. He said the Kiwanis Breakfast and Noon clubs have the fair as their only fundraiser each year, and

2021 Fair Magazine


The fair does not receive federal funding, and all of the money it makes is poured back into the fairgrounds. (File photo) that Lynden PTA and Lynden Christian schools both have booths that give them a lot of revenue. “I think generally most

people in the community also put a value that you can’t measure on the fair itself,” Vis said. “The ability to get together, watch the kids show animals,

and get to learn about raising animals and the responsibilities that come with that. Can you put a value on that? I don’t think so.”


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Hell’s Belles

All-female AC/DC tribute band “Hells Belles” will play the Aug. 14 Rock Fest at this year’s Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden. (Courtesy photos)

All-female AC/DC tribute band to play Rock Fest By Bill Helm

“Hells Bells” is the opening track on AC/DC’s seventh album, “Back in Black.” It’s also the inspiration for an all-female band that plays tribute to the Australian hard

rock quintet. Dubbed “Hell’s Belles,” the band is one of five musical acts scheduled for this year’s Rock Fest at the Northwest Washington Fair, Aug. 14. Recently, Adrian ‘Angus’ See Belles on 52

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Belles: All-female AC/DC tribute band Continued from 50

Conner talked to the Lynden Tribune about her career not only with the all-female tribute band, but also in the music industry in general. “I started out playing (rhythm guitar) ‘Malcolm,’” said Conner, the band’s most tenured member. “When (the previous lead guitarist) left, I told them I could do Angus if they’d let me try. They came to the realization that I could play. But they were concerned I couldn’t do the acting part.” Since then, Conner has more than proved she could handle the role. She proved it to the band, and she proved it to herself. “This role has grown my personality, it’s grown me spiritually, and musically,”

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Conner said. “ I have a lot more confidence.” Conner’s favorite AC/DC song to play is “Shoot to Thrill,” the second song on “Back in Black.” “It has different levels of intensity, the guitar mimics the vocals, and the lyrics are fun,” Conner said. Hell’s Belles has played thousands of shows, including Jordan, Singapore, Japan and Canada. Conner remembers what it was like to be new to the band. So she understands how her new singer must feel. Megan Rüger recently played her first show with the band. Rüger’s favorite AC/DC songs are “Highway to Hell,” “You Shook Me” and “Jailbreak.” The new singer said she looks forward to playing in front of. The Lynden crowd. “The more intimate venues, you can interact more with the crowd,” she said. “With the bigger crowds, you don’t get that.” Learn more about Hell’s Belles at Hell’s Belles: The Lineup Simona Bressi: drums Simona Bressi was born in Milan,


Italy. She moved to Los Angeles where she attended Musicians Institute and started playing and recording with many original and tribute bands such as Mistress of Reality (Black Sabbath) and Allison Chains (Alice in Chains). Bressi moved to Seattle in 2004. Adrian Conner: lead guitar In addition to her two decades with Hell’s Belles, Adrian Conner’s solo work is “consistent, prolific  just as unrelenting.” No stranger to playing guitar on the actual bar, Conner and her band will demand your attention and win your heart. Her musical journey renovates some pages of punk, rock, thrash and alternative histories, some of which are co-written with Kathy Valentine of the Go-Go’s which won Adrian a Best of Austin Music Award in 2011 under the Adrian & the Sickness moniker. Since 2016, Conner has produced 12 of her own music videos for her various musical  projects. Jess Coram: rhythm guitar Australian born and raised Jess Coram traipsed Australia and the globe as the founder and rhythm guitarist for

Sydney alt-poppers The Mis-Made, resulting in multiple albums and a stint opening for grunge wave icons L7 in 2016. Nicole Ridge: bass guitar From California, Nicole Ridge started paying guitar at 13 and then switched to bass at 16 “when I got in my first band.” Ridge has played in various alternate rock and metal bands in Los Angeles area. Also played the role of Geezer Butler for a well-known all-female Black Sabbath tribute band. Megan Rüger: vocalist Megan Rüger is a high-octane performer who mixes loud rock with pop melodies.  She grabbed the world’s attention as a star on season six of NBC’s hit show “The Voice.” Rüger has shared stages with several gold and platinum selling recording artists, performed the national anthem on numerous televised events including NASCAR races, and before COVID-19, she was a featured female performer in the five-time award winning Las Vegas show “Raiding The Rock Vault.”


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Be sure to come hungry Big change in how you pay for food at the fair this year By Elisa Claassen for the Tribune

Moo-wich ice cream sandwiches produced by the local dairy folk. Fresh golden corn on the cob. Poffertjes (a Dutch mini puffed pancake) served with whipped butter. Huge juicy hamburgers with all the fixings. Chocolate covered strawberries on a stick. Thinking of the Fair can make mouths water at the thought. See Food on 60

A system called BlastPass will be used at the 2021 fair as a contactless way to pay for food. (File photo)

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Fair to open long-awaited Ag exhibit

Farm Pavilion committee members, from left, Steve VanderYacht, Jim Baron, David Lackey, Brad Rader, Marv Tjoelker, and Nate Kleindel prepare for the limited opening of the Farming for Life Experience. (Photo courtesy Northwest Washington Fair)

More than five years in the making, the Farming for Life Experience will see a limited opening during the 10-day Northwest Washington Fair, August 12-21. Through a combination of local donations and grants, the total project raised more than $4 million to complete the new Farm Pavilion and exhibit. Epcot designer David Lackey has been engaged on the project from concept to

implementation, spending the past few years interviewing local farmers and acquiring videos and photos of the region. “Each area of the Farming for Life Experience tells an interactive story,” Lackey said. “Every time you get your hands on an exhibit, it comes to life in an engaging and educational fashion.” The limited opening will feature the majority of planned exhibits, including The Journey

of Food, an Orientation Theater, and dedicated areas for berries, dairy, and seed potatoes. “This project is the culmination of so many people’s vision, dedication, and shared belief that we cannot lose sight of the essentiality of agriculture to our daily lives,” Fair CEO Chris Pickering said in a media release. “It takes a community to complete such an impactful attraction, and ours truly

stepped up and owned this project.” Additional exhibits will be added post-Fair, with a planned Grand Opening in Spring 2022 that will make the exhibit available to the public year-round. Funding is still needed to complete the Farming for Life Experience, as well as to provide operational support in its inaugural year. To donate visit nwwafair. com/fflex.

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Stone in Love

Journey tribute band in Rock Fest lineup Journey tribute band “Stone in Love” will play the Aug. 14 Rock Fest at this year’s Northwest Washington Fair in Lynden. (Photo courtesy David M. Smith) By Bill Helm

From the Backstreet Boys to Rush, the members of Stone In Love have a diverse set of musical influences. Of course the Journey tribute band is also influenced by Journey, perhaps that goes without saying. According to the group’s media package, Stone In Love performs “faithful renditions of classic hits from one of the most beloved rock groups of all time.” “They deliver a high-energy performance that showcases all the hallmarks of the Journey sound: soaring lead vocals, lush four-part harmonies, signature guitar licks, fat keyboards, and driving rhythms.” Stone in Love is one of three tribute bands scheduled to play Rock Fest, at Northwest Washington Fait in Lynden on Aug. 14.

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2021 Fair Magazine

59 A five-piece, Stone In Love is made up of singer Kevin Hahn, guitarist Davin Carten, keyboardist Mike Johnson, bass player Dain Ryan and. Drummer Jason Fellman. Wearing the proverbial two hats, Fellman is also the band’s manager. Fellman said recently that the band plays about 15-20 shows each year. Of course they’ll play the Journey song “Stone in Love,” but the band also enjoys playing “Who’s Crying Now.” “That said, it’s hard to beat Don’t Stop Believin’ when it comes to over-the-top audience participation,” Fellman said. Although Fellman won’t reveal the setlist in advance, Journey fans attending Rock Fest “can expect us to play the biggest hits in the Journey catalog.”

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Food Continued from 54

A wide variety of classic foods are available at the Northwest Washington Fair, including the essential funnel cakes. (File photo)

If you also want to support a non-profit while you eat your favorite treat, that is also possible. Five of this year’s 42 food vendors are affiliated with youth nonprofits: Lyncs Athletic Booster Club, Lynden PTA, Cornerstone Christian School, Teens for Christ, and Young Life. Even the most healthconscious gourmet visitor has a favorite special food that is only available at the Fair. Fair CEO Chris Pickering said exciting additions this year include Corn Fritters by Feast, Fried Chicken by Burnt Ends, and Boba Tea by Stizzy Works. Something else is new this year and that is the way you pay for your food. In light of COVID-19, new technology has come to the Fair in an unexpected way.

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Ferndale Record “For health and safety reasons, the 2021 Northwest Washington Fair will only accept BlastPass at all food and beverage locations,” Pickering said. “Your BlastPass card or wristband uses RFID technology to provide a contactless purchasing experience, eliminating a contact point right when you’re about to eat. Save time when you get your BlastPass online. BlastPass is also available at any of 12 locations throughout the fairgrounds. Credit and debit cards are accepted at all BlastPass terminals, and cash is accepted at most. Use the same BlastPass all Fair long.” Unused balances are fully refundable, Pickering said.

2021 Fair Magazine



Moo-wiches make their long-awaited return at the 2021 fair. (File photo)

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Mutton busting returns throughout 2021 fair Spots still open in all non-rodeo slots throughout Fair schedule By Brent Lindquist

Opportunities for youngsters to try mutton busting are scattered across multiple days of the fair. (File photo)

Rodeo cowboys and cowgirls need to start somewhere, and for many, mutton busting is their introduction. First documented in the 1980s at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, mutton-busting has long been part of the Lynden PRCA Rodeo, and it will see its return at the 2021 rodeo. The premise is simple: a youngster climbs on the back of a sheep and holds on for as long as he or she can. Jim Vander Giessen has been working with the fair’s


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mutton-busters for about five years. He volunteered for a year before he ended up taking over the operation. This year marks the first year that he and partners Jim Hale and Lee Elrod had to find sheep for the event themselves. “This is the first year that we’re providing the sheep,” Vander Giessen said. “This is the first year that we’ve had to go and get our own sheep, so it’s a new experience for us.” Vander Giessen said they found sheep at an operation that specially breeds them for mutton busting. “These sheep have done it,” he said. “This isn’t their first time. They’re doing it at a lot of the rodeos around the tri-state area, actually. This is something that they do. They’re bred to do, and they love it. It’s part of their job, I guess.” Part of Vander Giessen See Mutton on 64

Kids hang on for dear life in hopes of staying on their sheep for as long as possible as it runs across the fair grandstand arena. (File photo)

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Mutton Continued from 63

and his team’s job is to sign kids up for the event. As of press time, the rodeo slots are full, but there are still lots of openings in the afternoon and evening horse shows. “It happens at 12 p.m. every day but Friday,” he said. “And even on the rodeo days, Monday and Tuesday, we’ll have the mutton-busting at the horse show in front of the grandstand. We do it every day until Thursday.” Mutton busting is scheduled for noon and 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and only at noon on Thursday. “There are still plenty of non-rodeo openings,” Vander Giessen said. “They can do it more than once if they want to.” This year, the only way to get in on the mutton-busting action is to register online at Vander Giessen said his favorite part of helping to run the mutton-busting event is working with the kids. “Seeing the kids’ reactions that they get from doing it, and the parents, it’s like anything else, its the parents encouraging the kids to get on and do it because you always have to muster up a little more bravery than they might think,” he said.

For many kids, mutton busting is their first exposure to the events featured at the rodeo. (File photo)

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Looking back at 2019’s Northwest Washington Fair

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