LIMA — Wyatt Kayser, of St. Marys, said he likes Rascal Flatts and had never seen the band in person until the concert Saturday night at the Allen County Fair.
“I just like their music and wanted to see them in person. Since it was close, why not?” Kayser said. “They just play good music.”
Kayser was happy Rascal Flatts, which is one of the biggest bands in country music, would hold a local concert in Allen County at the fairgrounds so he didn’t have to travel several hours to see the band.
“It’s nice,” he said. “I’m pretty happy with the seating here. I can see the stage pretty decent.”
Fair Manager Bob Fricke said more than 8,000 tickets were sold by earlier in the day and many people were in line to get tickets in the hour before the concert and as Kelsea Ballerini opened the show. He said it wouldn’t be out of the question to sell out at 10,448 tickets, especially with the good weather that was dry and not too hot Saturday night.
“The rain hit early enough in the day that it didn’t discourage our concert people, so we’re fortunate,” Fricke said.
Gabby Rex, of Lima, really enjoys Rascal Flatts and wanted to spend time with her sister who is in college and joined her at the concert.
“I grew up listening to them,” she said. “I like that it’s actual country and not pop country. I really like their first CD they put out. I hope they have some songs from that.”
Rex enjoys the concerts at the Allen County Fair.
“Usually any of the concerts at the fair, I come to,” Rex said.
For Emily Lehman, the Allen County Fair offered a chance to see her favorite band again.
“I’ve seen them in concert several times,” Lehman said.
Lehman wanted to hear “God Bless the Broken Road.”
Lehman, too, enjoys the chance to see Rascal Flatts in her own town at a smaller venue.
“It’s not very big here. You feel like you’re up close and personal with the band. They put on a whole show and you get the whole experience because it’s not a big venue,” Lehman said.
The concert has three areas, the party pit, main seating on the track, and grandstand, which holds 2,000.
Rascal Flatts is an American country trio from Columbus that performed about 90 minutes with up and coming country artist Kelsea Ballerini.
Rascal Flatts band member Jay DeMarcus, who plays the bass guitar, keyboards and background vocals, was on the midway during the afternoon with family members, unbeknownst to many fairgoers, Fricke said.
“He had his family and his daughter out here. A lot of people didn’t notice them. They were out there having a blast. Some of their family came up from Columbus,” Fricke said.
Reach Greg Sowinski at 567-242-0464 or on Twitter @Lima_Sowinski.