Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

July 13, 2013

Free Stage returns to County 4-H Fair for second year Local talent encouraged to reserve a spot on no-cost venue

By Rob Cox Daily News
Greensburg Daily News

---- — GREENSBURG – For the second straight year, the Decatur County 4-H Fair is featuring a Free Stage, with an open invitation to local-area talent to book free, public performance time on the venue.

Free stage committee member Mike Cuskaden told the Daily News that last year’s free stage proved a big enough success to bring it back another year.

The Fair Board decided to try a free stage last year, Cuskaden explained, for a handful of reasons. For one, before last year, many of the events featured on the Free Stage were being held in the Fairground’s Farm and Home Center.

As the Fair continued growing, that venue was becoming too small to accommodate the ever-increasing crowds. Plus, with the Farm and Home Center being a non-air-conditioned, inside venue, the heat was becoming unbearable.

More, Cuskaden explained, the free stage concept has been catching on all at County Fairs all around the state, with the Indiana State Fair itself offering one. “That’s kind of where we got the idea,” he said. “Free stages have kind of become the new thing at fairs. They offer free entertainment and allow us to give something back to the community in the form of free entertainment.”

Events being staged on the Free Stage in 2013 include a yoga and dance exhibition by the Decatur County Family YMCA; the 2013 Decatur County 4-H in revue; a gymnastics exhibition; community vesper service; gospel music; the pie eating contest; the frog jumping contest; and the 4-H awards ceremony.

Friday night saw local rock-and-roll act Hotwire performing on the free stage. On Saturday, country act Cooke & Belle will perform for the second straight year. Cuskaden first saw the duo perform at a national convention for county fairs, wherein organizers gain ideas for their individual fairs. He was impressed enough to book them and said public response from last year’s appearance by the group led to their being invited back in 2013.

On Sunday night, gospel group Fire Quest will hit the free stage. Beyond those, however, there aren’t yet any additional acts booked.

Cuskaden isn’t worried, though, about a lack of entertainment to take up the call to perform on the free stage. Last year, he explained, the situation was much the same; many of the performers didn’t call to book time on the stage until a couple days into the fair.

As such, he welcomed all Decatur County – anybody with a musical talent or any other family-friendly talent of any kind – to call and take advantage of free community exposure on the 2013 Decatur County 4-H Fair Free Stage.

“We’re mostly looking for musical talent,” Cuskaden, said, “but we’re open to considering anybody who’s got an entertaining, family friendly act.”

To inquire about reserving time to perform on the 2013 Decatur County 4-H Fair Free Stage, call Mike Cuskaden at 812-593-1864, or call the Fair Office at 663-3864.