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April 24, 2007

Governor Blagojevich Announces Illinois State Fair Grandstand Lineup
Entertainers include country music stars Gretchen Wilson, Martina McBride and Sugarland, rock newcomer Chris Daughtry and “High School Musical” co-star Corbin Bleu

SPRINGFIELD-- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced Illinois native and country music superstar Gretchen Wilson, four-time Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year Martina McBride and rock newcomer Chris Daughtry will perform during the 2007 Illinois State Fair.  The star-studded Grandstand line-up also features Grammy Award-winning band Sugarland and a teen-pop show featuring Corbin Bleu, co-star of the hit Disney Channel Original Movie “High School Musical,” and Drake Bell of Nickelodeon’s “Drake & Josh.”

“This line-up more than upholds the fair’s tradition of offering quality entertainment for families at affordable prices. This package should have wide appeal and help bring thousands of visitors to the fair,” said Gov. Blagojevich.

Wilson, who was born and raised in Pocahontas, Ill., a small town in rural Bond County, will perform on opening day of the fair Friday, Aug. 10.  Her meteoric rise to country music superstardom began in 2004 when the first of her two chart-topping albums, “Here For The Party,” was released.  The album sold two million copies in just nine weeks, the fastest double platinum certification ever for a debut country artist, and produced her first number one hit, “Redneck Woman,” a song that billboard.com voted “Anthem of the Summer of 2004.”  Her third album, “One of the Boys,” will be in stores May 15.  Blaine Larsen will open the show.

The double bill of Corbin Bleu and Drake Bell will take the stage Saturday, Aug. 11, to be followed Sunday, Aug. 12, by Daughtry, an acclaimed rock band fronted by its lead singer and namesake Chris Daughtry.  The group’s self-titled debut album spent nine weeks atop the Billboard music charts and produced hit singles including “It’s Not Over” and “Home.”        

Multi-platinum country recording artist Martina McBride will entertain Friday, Aug. 17.  McBride, who has 22 top-10 singles to her credit and just released a new album, “Waking Up Laughing,” will perform with Carolyn Dawn Johnson. 

Sugarland, Country Music Television’s Duo of the Year, will conclude this year’s Grandstand concerts with a show Sunday, Aug. 19.  Joe Nichols is the opening act.  The fair also intends to schedule a concert Saturday, Aug. 18, but has not come to terms with a performer yet.  An announcement is expected soon.

Besides musical entertainment, the Grandstand also will feature horse racing and motor sports.  Evening harness races have been scheduled Tuesday, Aug. 14 through Thursday, Aug. 16.  The auto races will be held Saturday, Aug. 18 and Sunday, Aug. 19.  Monday, Aug. 13, the Illinois Symphony will perform.

All concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. Tickets will go on sale Saturday, April 28, at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster.  They can be purchased either on the internet at Ticketmaster.com, by calling 800-827-8927 or visiting any Ticketmaster outlet.  Tickets order forms also can be downloaded on the Illinois State Fair website at www.illinoisstatefair.info.  The Grandstand ticket office will start accepting mail orders May 28.  It will open Saturday, June 2, at 9 a.m. for walk-up sales. 

All sales are final.  The fair does not provide refunds or exchanges on ticket purchases.

DATE  PERFORMER     TICKET PRICES         Reserved  Track
Aug. 10 Gretchen Wilson with Blaine Larsen  $30-25-20  $30
Aug. 11 Corbin Bleu and Drake Bell   $20   $20     
Aug. 12 Chris Daughtry    $27-23-20  $27
Aug. 13 Illinois Symphony    Free Admission
Aug. 14 Evening Harness Racing   Free Admission
Aug. 15 Evening Harness Racing   Free Admission
Aug. 16 Evening Harness Racing   Free Admission
Aug. 17 Martina McBride with    $35-30-25  $35
  Carolyn Dawn Johnson
Aug. 18 TBA 
Aug. 18 USAC Silver Crown Series    Adults $20 Children $10  
Aug. 19 Sugarland with Joe Nichols   $22   $22
Aug. 19 ARCA Super Series     Adults $20 Children $10

*All artists above have approved this announcement, however, concerts are subject to contracts being finalized.


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