FORT LORAMIE — Country music stars from across America took the stage on Saturday for the final day of Country Concert 2018. Most took the stage knowing that the way into the hearts of Ohio fans was an enthusiastic cry of O-H! to rally the crowd.
Saturday kicked off with 2011 American Idol runner-up Lauren Alaina who got the crowd going with her energetic performance. Alaina came back to the stage to sing a duet with up-and-coming star Kane Brown during his set.
As the day went on, the crowd continued to build until a solid sea of fans could be seen from one end of the grounds to the other. One of the radio personalities on stage suggested this might be the largest crowd he has seen at a County Concert.
Entertainment was not limited to the stage. American Red Cross volunteer Gladys Watson of Cincinnati who was experiencing her first Country Concert, could be found dancing to the music and greeting what seemed to be hundreds of new-found friends attending the event.
“I’m having a blast”, said Watson, “I’m a people-person. I just love this!” Watson has been volunteering with the American Red Cross since Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Perhaps the biggest story of Country Concert week was not the performances, but the weather. Sunshine and a light breeze made for perfect combination, bringing fans from across the area and neighboring states to take in one of the premier music events in the country.
Red Cross volunteers indicated that, to their knowledge, there were few heat-related cases treated this year.
Ron Childs, part of the quality assurance team for County Concert said, “Attendance is great, the people are great, everything is going very well.”
Local resident Steve Bullock was introduced to concert-goers on Saturday afternoon. Bullock, a 24 year veteran of the Ohio National Guard, is project manager for Valor, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide improved access to and quality of healthcare and shelter for veterans. Bullock was found by concert organizers picking up cans and trash in the campgrounds.When officials learned of his connection with Valor, they offered a donation to Valor for trash bags collected this year. On Saturday, concert officials pledged $7,500 to Valor for Bullock’s cleanup efforts. They promised to increase the amount to $10,000 if campers and fans fill provided trash bags and leave the bags ready to be picked up.
The headline act for Saturday was country music super star Eric Church. His performance electrified the immense crowd who were on their feet for his entire set.