Country music group Lonestar relaunches Mountain Home’s Red, White & Blue festival
The Red White & Blue Festival returned to Mountain Home on Friday night with world-renowned, multi-platinum country band Lonestar taking center stage after the 2020 celebration was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group was originally scheduled to perform a private show for the North Arkansas Electric Cooperative’s annual event at Arkansas State University – Mountain Home, but circumstances led the group to join the festival as their main attraction on Friday night.
âI was worried because it was supposed to be a private show to begin with,â said backing vocalist and keyboardist Dean Sams. âAnd then when that changed, I guess because of COVID they turned into this free concert for the community, which I find very awesome, by the way. “
The band performed hit classics like “Lonely Grill”, “Amazed” and “I’m Already There” in front of a crowd of around 6,000 on the hills of the ASU-Mountain Home campus. The concert marks a return to touring after the year-long nationwide lockdown.
âIt has been a very depressing time for musicians and everyone in the restaurant industry,â said singer and guitarist Drew Womack. âEveryone has suffered so much. There was no window. There was no end. We didn’t know when it was going to end. When it all started to open up and people were able to come out and enjoy each other’s company again, the energy, you know. The best medicine on earth is the energy we feel from the crowd. It is good for our health.
While Lonestar’s free concert may have caught the attention of the crowds in the evening, it wasn’t the only highlight of the festival’s first day.
The festival kicked off again with a parade that began at Baxter Regional Medical Center before moving into the downtown Mountain Home entertainment district. Children grabbed candy as hot rods and horses passed Veteran’s Plaza and the Baxter County Courthouse in the parade.
âWe came here just for this event,â said Caleb Billberry, originally from Dallas, Texas, and brother of Brandy Jordan, a local Mountain Home resident. âShe said it was the best festival in North Arkansas. I thought it was fun. The girls really liked it.
Following the parade, festival-goers headed to the ASU-Mountain Home campus for Bad Habits & Cruisers of Mountain Home Car Show with rows of classic and modern muscle cars, including Tommy Slaughter and his 1925 Hudson classic.
âI bought it brand new,â Slaughter told a raving crowd.
Once the families got through the auto show, they were able to treat themselves to snow cones from a food truck owned by Mark and Shelly Hostetler. Crayfish from the Cowboys Crawfish truck were also available with freshly squeezed lemonade from Vickie’s Kitchen.
The festival also had its sweet moments, with the kids meeting Marshall from Nick Jr.’s Paw Patrol show before sitting down and reading a book with the parents for the Baxter County Literacy Gift Card giveaway. Project.
At other times, some have had the opportunity to strengthen their faith while helping others.
âWe are geared towards the homeless,â said Raymond Moore of Hope for All, a faith-based organization that focuses on helping the homeless. âWe try to help the veterans as much as we can. We are involved in the veterans community. We’re here to advertise what we’re doing, trying to let the community know that there are people in need.
While Lonestar entertained the crowds, Mountain Home Mayor Hillrey Adams oversaw a fierce cooking staged by the Steak Cookoff Association. The SCA is one of the fastest growing culinary associations in the world and hosts more than 600 events around the world each year.
The competitor Grand Champion BBQ & Steak, All “Q’ued” Up! team member; and Bama-Q TV star John Lindsey who was joined by SCA champion Bren Howard.
âWe love to support the veterans,â Lindsey said. âCAS offers many of these benefits when supporting charities. And me and Brent are both about charities, and that’s why we love it. “
Before Adams handed out the prizes to wrap up the night, Dan Hall, a former Baxter County Judge and Vietnam Veteran handed out prizes from a drawing hosted by the local County Veterans Suicide Prevention Program. Baxter, US Veteran Outreach.
Top prizes went to 2020 SCA World Champion Marissa Ouverson for Best Potato Dish and Jonesboro, Arkansas resident Katelyn Crain for Best Steak.
âThank God! I needed all the help I could get today,â Crain said after winning first place and the $ 1,000 prize. âI felt good, but not so good. It’s my very first victory, and it’s incredible. â
Saturday’s events include the Mountain Home Police Department’s 5K run which starts at 7 a.m. V-Dubs car show from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The Kattie Laney Project and the Melodicates at 7:30 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.