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Beach Boys, Hank Williams Jr, Missouri natives make up State Fair concert roster

With the Missouri State Fair officially back in full force this year, fairgoers are set to celebrate its return with a handful of big names on the Grandstand stage.

The Beach Boys are set to headline Aug. 18’s concert. The iconic band has been touring for nearly 60 years and has performed more concerts than any major rock band in history. Rising to prominence in the 60s among other young music icons, the band has maintained its popularity among fans. 

Country icon Hank Williams Jr. will close out this year’s concerts. Williams is a Grammy-winning country artist with more than 70 million albums sold, including six platinum and 20 gold records. 

Missouri native Rhonda Vincent will lead her band The Rage on Aug. 19. Born in Greentop, she was declared the “Queen of Bluegrass” by The Wall Street Journal. Pettis County native Leroy Van Dyke will serve as the opening act. Van Dyke has worked in the music and entertainment industry for more than five decades. His song “Walk on By” stayed on the charts for 37 weeks and a record-breaking 19 weeks at the No. 1 position in 1961.  

Last year’s fair pivoted to a youth livestock event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forgoing everything from concerts and the carnival midway to the Governor’s Ham Breakfast. This year’s festivities will come to fruition through a partnership with the Missouri Bicentennial Alliance and Commission.  

The Missouri State Fair is an 11-day event that began more than 120 years ago in Sedalia. It was originally created at the urging of the Missouri Swine Breeders Association and remains a competitive agricultural event. The 40th and 41st General Assemblies allotted a combined $65,000 to establish the site and begin construction on the fairgrounds before the first Fair in 1901; the event has only been canceled once during World War II. 

The fair begins this year on Aug. 12.