You know it's truly the summer season when London and Laurel County burst out with music.

It begins in June with Thursday Night Live, which brings a variety of entertainment to Courthouse Square in downtown London. Organizers of that event for the past decade-plus have worked diligently to bring free music concerts to the public and sprinkle a little bit of musical genre every year.

The annual Red White and Boom celebration at College Park is another free family fun event that is highlighted by musical entertainment. Organizers of that event make sure the entertainment is upbeat and celebratory of the birthday of this country until the fireworks show marks the finale of the evening.

Arts and Eats at Farmers Market also offers some musical entertainment during their special events, beginning with the Redbud Ride block party on the eve of the annual bicycle trek. Fortunately, the music doesn't end in the summer - the fall and winter sessions at Farmers Market have previously featured musical acts to highlight the evening.

This week the Laurel County Fair opens up with a variety of entertainment extending from sporting events, wrestling, karaoke and musical groups vying for the spotlight among food and game booths and carnival rides.

Again, organizers of the annual Fair work diligently on a somewhat limited budget to provide family fun at a reasonable price. Over the years, those willing to pay a small fee have had opportunity to see country singers such as Tom Wopat (Dukes of Hazzard fame) and Little Texas as well as country music legend Johnny Paycheck. Rock and rollers are happy with the AC/DC and K.I.S.S. tribute bands who have headlined the county fair over the past years. Thunderstruck is performing again this year on Thursday evening, while Tuesday offered Mama Louise, which performed hits from Pink Floyd and the Allman Brothers. Friday features some local talent - Southern Smoke and My Finest Hour. Southern Smoke is a country-based band featuring Bridgett Turner on bass. Turner is the former station manager for Forcht Broadcasting's SAM 103.9 and 96.1 Kool Gold. My Finest Hour features local singer/songwriter Chuck Stuber and Roger Hinkle with their newest musical group performing pop and rock favorites and originals. Stuber was formerly with Yesterday's Wine band. This year's county fair brings a new aspect of music - The System, a Bob Seger tribute band that is sure to woo the crowd with the music of this Detroit-based rock legend. The admission price of $10 or $12 is more than fair for the talent that hits the stage this year.

The Laurel County Fair is the first of three festivals in the county. While July marks the county fair, the Laurel County Homecoming offers free entertainment and activities during August. The World Chicken Festival, which has been deemed one of the Top 10 festivals in the state numerous times, also delivers family fun and entertainment, whether it be music, food, crafts or contests.

The citizens of this area are truly blessed with volunteers who put countless hours of time and effort into providing numerous entertainment options. Public attendance and participation in these events is the "paycheck" that these volunteers need - just knowing their efforts are appreciated and attended give them the encouragement to strive harder and harder each year to go that extra mile, try to solicit that extra financial sponsorship, and book that particular performer to offer Laurel Countians quality family entertainment.

Don't miss out!

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