Thousands of people from around the country are about to descend on West Liberty for the 58th annual Labor Day Festival and the fourth Country Legends concert series, Sept. 1-4.
“Some people plan their vacations around it,” West Liberty Mayor Jill McKelvey said. “And it gets bigger every year. I expect our population of 1,700 to at least triple.”
The event, which is presented by the West Liberty Lions Club, brings back many popular activities, starting with the classic car cruise-in at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1.
Saturday features the parade at 10:30 a.m. This parade originally started the whole thing as an opportunity for local farmers to show off their tractors. It’s grown to a point where McKelvey anticipates seeing as many as 200 mostly antique farm vehicles.
And, continuing in that vein, attendees can enjoy a kiddie and garden tractor pull Saturday afternoon.
Sunday will include the antique tractor pull and a wiffle ball tournament. But the highlight will be the Ben Fuller concert at 7 p.m. in Lions Park. This is Rise FM’s 10th annual free Labor Day musical offering.
Fuller is a contemporary Christian country music singer from Nashville, best known for his song “Who I Am.” Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs or blankets for seating.
The festivities conclude with family day on Monday, Sept. 4.
According to McKelvey, the community can thank about 68 West Liberty Lions Club members for making the festival happen once again.
For more information on the weekend, visit westlibertylions.org and select “Labor Day Festival.”
Lovers of country music will get an earful when the Country Legends Festival once again takes over two stages with at least eight hours of nonstop music on Saturday, Sept. 2, in Lions Park, West Liberty.
Though the premium seating is completely sold out, general admission tickets are still available for $76.50 plus taxes and fees. Those tickets will be $85 at the gate, no taxes or fees.
Pre-party fun begins on the saloon stage when the gates open at 2 p.m. with music from Levi Foster, Dan Wallace, Tucker Munz and Taylor Austin Dye. According to organizer Matt Hull, these performers will keep the music going between the main stage acts, leading to eight hours of continuous country hits.
At the main stage, attendees will enjoy an impressive lineup, starting with Shenandoah at 4. They’ll be followed by Sara Evans at 6 and Lonestar at 8.
The evening will conclude with Trace Adkins at 10 p.m.
“We’re always looking for those 90s, 2000-era acts,” Hull said. “Last year we did a poll, and Trace and Sara were two of the highest as people they wanted us to bring in.”
Country Legends started as a free concert featuring Little Texas in a test run to see how the public would respond. This is the third time they’ve sold tickets and it just keeps getting better.
“This is our best year,” Erin LeVan, whose husband, Jeremy, started Country Legends with Hull in 2020. “We’ve already sold more than last year at our final count.”
And though attendees cannot bring in coolers, don’t worry. The venue will include two separate beer vendors—domestic and craft, plus seltzers and plenty of food trucks.
One annual highlight will be a fundraiser—the organizers will raffle off a guitar that’s been autographed by all the evening’s talents. As a 501c3 nonprofit, Country Legends will give 100 percent of the money brought in by the raffle to Josh Rayburn, a special needs young man who volunteers with the Richwood Fire Department and is currently battling cancer.
Last year’s raffle raised $10,000 for a different recipient.
Like many outdoor concerts, general admission ticket holders are responsible for their own seating.
For more information visit the Country Legends website at clfestival.com.