International Country Music Fan Fair

Country Music Fan Fair, International

Mid-June
The International Country Music Fan Fair is a country feast of music held over a long weekend in downtown Nashville, Tenn., also known as "Music City, U.S.A." and the home of the Grand Ole Opry. The 20th anniversary of the Fan Fair was celebrated in 1991 with a "grand ole party" attended by country music's brightest stars. Yearly attractions include stage shows and concerts, autograph-and-picture-taking sessions with big-name stars, some 300 booths and exhibits, fan-club banquet dinners, and a celebrity auction that gives bidders a chance to buy such items as Junior Sample's overalls from TV's "Hee Haw" or Dolly Parton's boots.
The Grand Ole Opry was founded by George Dewey Hay, who was called "the Solemn Ole Judge," and began weekly radio broadcasts from Nashville in 1925. The music developed from ballads of rural laborers in the 1920s through the string bands and cowboy music of the 1930s into honky-tonk and rockabilly music after World War II. In 1941, the Opry was staged live at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and in 1974 it moved to Opryland U.S.A. This all led to the Fan Fair, which is billed as "The Closest Thing to Hillbilly Heaven."
CONTACTS:
CMA Music Festival, Dept. T
P.O. Box 24480
Nashville, TN 37202
800-262-3378
www.fanfair.com
SOURCES:
GdUSFest-1984, p. 178
MusFestAmer-1990, p. 251
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