BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – First-year Tri-State Rodeo Chairman Tony Johnson said the rodeo has brought in a good mix of national entertainment for 2019’s event.
With the release of the lineup this past Saturday at the Boogaloo Sports Bar and Grill in Burlington, fans finally got a full view of who’s coming to Fort Madison in September.
The rodeo’s Facebook page was abuzz with guesses when the 2019 TSR Committee posted a “redacted” version of the entertainment poster and had people guessing everything from Blake Shelton to George Strait.
On Saturday, rodeo chairman Tony Johnson revealed that Michael Ray, Tracy Lawrence, and Justin Moore would be the headlining acts for this year’s event that runs from pre-rodeo days starting on Saturday Aug. 31 through Saturday, Sept.7.
One fan on Facebook guessed Ray and Moore, but missed Lawrence. Many guessed Justin Moore from the silhouettes that were posted.
“I think we ended up with a really good lineup,” Johnson said.
“Michael Ray has some really good songs out there right now. He was nominated for new male vocalist of the year. He didn’t win, but he was nominated and our Friday with Tracy Lawrence – he’s been around for long time and I’m really looking forward to that.”
Johnson said the process of selecting and acquiring the acts is a difficult one, but he said a lot of attention is paid to what fans are asking for and trying to get the best entertainment while still keeping prices affordable.
He said rodeo fans have been asking for some more traditional music, but also want to hear contemporary acts.
“There’s a calling for that 90s country music and some of that is making a comeback,” he said. “We’ve had some people really wanting that so we wanted to try and cater to that and get back to our roots.
“But Saturday, we’re going to blow it up. Justin Moore’s a little younger, but he’s been around. He has a new album that’s coming out and he has a single off that album that’s charting right now.”
Johnson said the Coors Party Pavilion will get a little bit of a mix up this year, as well.
Local favorite StumpTown will be performing after the stage acts on Friday and Saturday, but Illinois natives, and NashNext runners-up The Natu Band will entertain fans in the pavilion on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Natu Band may be familiar to some as a performer at RiverFest 2018, and the reveal band at that year’s RiverFest Reveal Party at Kinnick South.
Johnson said The Natu Band finished runner-up at the 2018 Cumulus Radio NASHNext competition to Jessie Ritter and StumpTown is always a hit locally.
“Wednesday and Thursday will have a different band with The Natu Band, and then Friday and Saturday will be StumpTown again. They’re a local favorite. Everybody loves StumpTown’s high energy, They do a great job,” he said.
Johnson said he was impressed with the crowd at Saturday’s reveal.
“I was really impressed with our turnout tonight. Catfish Bend, Fun City, Boogaloo are all good Tri-State Rodeo partners and we’re glad to be able to do this here. There’s a lot of energy around this tonight.”
Tickets for the 2019 Tri-State Rodeo will go on sale Monday April 15, 2019 at 8 a.m. Multiple ticket levels will be available. For ticket information, visit www.TriStateRodeo.org.
2019 Tri-State Rodeo Schedule of Events
Saturday, August 31
• Pancake Breakfast 6:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m. sponsored by Fareway on the Tri-State Rodeo C.E. “Eddie” Richards Arena grounds
• Special Kids Rodeo – Pre-registration is required to ensure a t-shirt is on hand. Forms will be on the website
Sunday, September 1
• Chili Supper 5 p.m. -7 p.m. sponsored by Fareway on the Tri-State Rodeo C.E. “Eddie” Richards Arena grounds
Monday, September 2
• Little Spurs Rodeo – 10 a.m. Registration forms will be on the website and at local businesses
• Pork Dinner 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. sponsored by Hy-Vee
• Lil Miss Rodeo and All-Around Cowboy Monday evening in the arena.
Tuesday, September 3
• Pee Wee Barrel Race 5:30 p.m. at the Tri-State Rodeo C.E. “Eddie” Richards Arena grounds
Wednesday, September 4
• Tri-State Rodeo Invitation Only Competition: CINCH SHOOTOUT – Highlighting current and past world champions. Gates open at 5 p.m. with action starting at 7 p.m.
Thursday, September 5
• Tri-State Rodeo Competition – Gates open at 5 p.m. with rodeo action beginning at 7 p.m.
• National Entertainment immediately following the performance – Michael Ray
Friday, September 6
• School’s Out Round Up – noon to 2 p.m.
• Tri-State Rodeo Competition Tough Enough To Wear Pink Night – Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with rodeo action starting at 7:30p.m.
• National Entertainment immediately following the performance – Tracy Lawrence
Saturday, September 7
• Grand Rodeo Parade 9:30a.m. – Travels down Ave G
• Tri-State Rodeo Competition – Gates open at 5:30 p.m. with rodeo action beginning at 7:30p.m.
• National Entertainment immediately following the performance – Justin Moore