Roller coasters, music add to the excitement |

Roller coasters, music add to the excitement

As his friends at last week’s Friday Market echoed in agreement, what 14-year old Ryan Pearsy looks most forward to at the fair each year are “rides, music and corn dogs.”

Although the roller coasters at the Nevada County Fair may not reach the turbulent speeds like the larger roller coasters at premiere amusement parks, Pearsy is excited that in just a few more days, he will spin under the red domes of the Tilt-A-Whirl and be flipped in the cages of the Zipper.

“Sometimes the rides make me sick,” Pearsy said. “But I like them anyway.”

After enjoying Ferris Wheel rides at the fair for 16 years, Heather Cummings, 20, of Grass Valley has begun to appreciate the live music and animal shows there, as well.

Musical acts in a wide variety of genres will be featured daily at the festival. Among those acts are country-oriented Doug Stone and the Eagles tribute band, Hotel California.

Stone will play on Wednesday – the fair’s opening night- in a concert sponsored by Nevada County’s “Be Like Me, I’m Drug Free” organization.

The nonprofit “Be Like Me, I’m Drug Free” holds two annual charity concerts to raise money for educating Nevada County junior high school students about the effects of drugs and alcohol, Stacy Freeman, the group’s sales manager, said.

The Stone concert has a separate admission fee: $25 for adults and $12 for anyone 12 and under, which includes fair admission.

A Georgia native, Stone has seen his songs top country music charts, including his Grammy-nominated “I’d Be Better Off (In A Pine Box).”

In a telephone interview last week, Stone said the songs feature situations identifiable to listeners.

“I pick songs with real lyrics that talk about things people can believe,” he said.

Older fairgoers should have no problems relating to the songs performed by Hotel California, according to the band’s lead singer, Wade Hogue of Elk Grove.

As a band that plays strictly Eagles tunes, Hogue explained last week from Colorado, those listeners most moved by his band usually fall into the “over-30 crowd.”

“It’s the parents of fairgoers that seem to have the best reactions to our music,” he said. “I guess they can really understand Eagles’ music; it’s a cultural thing.”

Hogue founded Hotel California 20 years ago because he wanted to be able to travel and play the songs he loved.

He named the band after his favorite Eagles song, which he considers their anthem.

His band is still going strong two decades later; Hogue’s having a great time as he plays all over the United States.

“I can’t think of anything better to do than play Eagles’ hits,” Hogue said. “It’s fun, I’m making money and doing what I love.”

Hotel California will perform on the Arts Center Stage at 8 p.m. on Aug. 12.

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