Maries County Fair, Vienna MO on September 4, 2004

My family went to the Maries (pronounced “Mary's”) County Fair in Vienna, Missouri to see Marty. The fair itself was a small county fair which had maybe a total of 10 rides and some game booths, but a big event for this little town of 8,900. A small exhibit hall showed off the county's best, from eggs to gourds to cakes in typical county fair fashion, blue ribbons and all. A few booths were inside, showing off their wares, even the town taxidermy (have you walked around a room with a wall full of deer heads staring down at you??) Marty's show was the highlight of the 3-day fair. I believe I heard someone say around 2,000 people attended that day. The show took place on the baseball field, where people brought lawn chairs and lined them up. We got there early enough to get into the front row.

Jim Hill came out to razz the crowd before show time --about 600 people in all in chairs on the ball field. He talked to the crowd and then they introduced the Miss Maries County fair queen and the princess. They brought them on the stage for the applause, they sang the national anthem and then the show began.

The show was the pretty much the same as Marty usually does set-wise. He sang a couple of tunes this rock-and-roll girl wasn't familiar with (one I learned later was “Mirrors Don't Lie”), but he encored with "Draggin' the Line" and the crowd liked that a lot. The fair shot off fireworks when it was over. Nice touch to the ending of the fair and Marty’s show.

The Meet &Greet went as they normally do, with Marty and the band at the merchandise table signing autographs. It was a shorter line than usual—out of the 600 or so in lawn chairs, only about 100 actually queued up, so we were pretty much near the front. The three of us went in a group through the line. Marty was first and he was in a sleeveless tank shirt, presumably from the heat. We got stuff signed and Jamie got a picture with Brian Glenn, which she always likes to do. I personally appreciate the fact they are all gracious enough to pose for pictures; many artists aren’t.

So it was a fun night. That was my first outdoor event which is a first for me, because I'm not real fond of any outdoor activities--picnics, festivals, etc. I didn't think I would like sitting out there but the heat wasn't too bad and the skies were perfectly clear for the show. Marty played a good 1 hour and 15 minutes, after a late start due to some electrical problem. It was a great night and we sure had fun!

Review and photos by Diane Gilmore, Springfield, TN

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