Back for an encore, Shelton again charms fair crowd
By Elise Franco
Country music superstar Blake Shelton crooned his way into the hearts of Canfield Fairgoers on Sunday night for the second time in two years.
Shelton, whose latest single “Over” recently became his seventh No. 1 song, performed for a packed crowd in the grandstand. Shelton also headlined the Monday night show at the 2011 fair.
George Roman, fair board member, said bringing Shelton back for a second year was an easy decision.
“He’s one of the hottest country entertainers going right now,” Roman said. “He’s got the No. 1 country single on the charts, and he’s probably more popular today with fans than he was a year ago.”
Heather Hartzell of Sebring is one of those fans.
Hartzell said she saw Shelton in concert at last year’s fair and jumped at the chance to come back for a second show.
“The concert last year was awesome, so I was definitely looking forward to a second one,” she said. “It’s exciting because we got track tickets, so we can be up close.”
Melissa Thomas of Hubbard and Kimberly Beck of Warren were first in line to enter the standing-room-only track seating. The pair said this was their first Blake Shelton concert, so they wanted a good view.
“We’re very excited,” Beck said. “We’re expecting to have fun and hopefully get some good pictures.”
Beck said even without having seen a Shelton concert before Sunday, she knows he puts on a good show.
“I love his attitude,” she said. “He’s got a great voice and really know how to hit those tunes.”
Thomas said it speaks to the esteem of the Canfield Fair that Shelton returned for a second concert in two years.
Kirsti Manna, a Poland native who currently lives in Nashville, Tenn., said she’s not surprised that Shelton is such a draw at the fair.
Manna and another Ohio native co-wrote Shelton’s first chart-topping single, “Austin.”
Manna said she’s thrilled by Shelton’s success since the song hit No. 1 in July 2001.
“It was a great opportunity fort a song and artist to come together, and it’s exciting to see what’s happening to Blake’s career,” she said. “It’s such a privilege to have someone so great sing your song.”
Roman said the country concert thrills will continue tonight as Martina McBride and Scotty McCreery take the grandstand stage at 8 p.m.
“It’s an excellent concert lineup, and the names speak for themselves,” Roman said of this year’s performers.
Tickets for tonight’s show are still available at the grandstand box office, and tickets cost between $30 and $60.