LOGANSPORT — T.J. Palmer headed to the Cass County 4-H Fair around 12:30 Thursday afternoon to wait nearly eight hours for the concert by country music artist Justin Moore.
“It’s been hot,” the Logansport man said. “I listen to Justin Moore, but this being the first concert in Logansport, I mean, I really wanted to be up close.”
The first-come, first-served seating at the tractor pull strip created a line of fans that stretched all the way to the vehicle entrance of the fair. Temperatures topped 90 degrees when fair officials started letting fans in at 6:30 p.m. for the show that started at 8.
“People just started showing up like pretty good at about 4 o’clock,” Palmer said. “That’s when they really started coming in.”
Heath Martin of Kewanna wasn’t exactly as excited as Palmer was to camp out for 7 1/2 hours until the show began.
“My wife drug me here,” Martin said, with a smile on his face, about his wife Tricia. “I don’t even like country music. She’s a big country music fan, and I’d rather be home in air-conditioning. It’s been hot, I’m sweaty and I’m ready to take a shower.”
So why head out to wait for more than seven hours in the heat and listen to songs he had never heard before?
“For the love of my wife,” he said.
Further in line, 14-year-old Santana Achor of Logansport could hardly contain her excitement for the concert to begin.
When her mother, Melanie, was asked whether she was excited for the concert to start, Santana said, “Heck, yeah, we are.”
The two came with friends at around 5 p.m. and could still see the front of the line.
“We still aren’t too far back,” Melanie Achor said.
Santana had been looking forward to Thursday night for months.
“I love Justin Moore,” she said. “He’s amazing.”
Moore is known for his country hits “If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away” and “Small Town USA.”
In April, fair officials nabbed the 28-year-old as the fair’s first paid concert. Organizers said they hoped the concert would generate more interest and revenue for the fair.
Mark Musall, president of the Cass County 4-H Association board of directors, was at the gate when patrons were let into the concert area.
“It’s amazing to see the turnout and the lines and excitement of these kids,” he said, adding he didn’t have final figures on the number of tickets sold. “We covered our cost. Our target was 3,500.
I’m not sure if we got there. We’ve been selling tickets all day.”
Musall said Thursday’s concert likely wouldn’t be the last.
“The first year is a big, big learning curve. I mean huge,” he said.
“But, I think we’ll try it again. No doubt about that.”
• Jason M. Rodriguez is associate editor of the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5117 or email@example.com.