heartwarming, family-oriented and very musical Fan Fair has permanently
etched great memories in the fans of country music since 1972.  Before
moving to downtown Nashville and becoming the CMA Music Festival a few
years ago, the concerts were more intimate at the Tennessee State
Fairgrounds, the children could enjoy rides at Opryland Amusement Park
and the autograph tents were packed with fans (who didn’t seem to mind
the extreme heat) around the clock.  

several years of pleading, those loyal fans have their “Fan Fair” name
back, at least for this one area.  This year, the meet and greets took
place in the new and massive Music City Center in an area called “Fan
Fair X” with a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony by Lady Antebellum.
 Hillary Scott recalled how she would work in the booth with her
mother, Linda Davis, when she was a little girl and take photos for the
fans.  Now she poses for those photos as she expects her own child very

would be difficult to find a country star today who did not spent time
in the booths cementing relationships that still endure today with their
fans.  One of the most memorable is Garth Brooks who signed autographs
and took photos in his exhibit for over 23 hours without a break.  Marty
Stuart and Le Ann Rimes also were very dedicated in their elaborate

displayed guitars, cowboy hats and boots and Dolly Parton‘s costumes.
Dozens of booths offered a schedule of artists from newcomers, such as
The Farm and The Mulch Brothers, to superstars, including Wynonna, who
either performed or signed autographs.  Chris Young first appeared at
Fan Fair in 2006 after winning Nashville Star and met with fans for a
few hours.  Today he has one of the largest exhibits at Fan Fair X.
 Lulu from the TV show HeeHaw, who has now been inducted into the
Country Music Hall of Fame, was a favorite again this year.  Kix
Brooks, Little Big Town, Kristian Bush of Sugarland, Bucky Covington and
hundreds more all found time to spend with the fans.

Following in the footsteps of his traditional mentors, singer/songwriter and future star Billy
Dawson spent all four days in his booth meeting and posing with over
two thousand fans, giving out promotional photos and having a smile as
fresh and bright for each one during the last hour of the last day as on
the first.  That’s the way to do it – walking in the footsteps of those
formerly unknown artists who today form the firmament of country

the event came to a close and the booths were dismantled, the fans
clutched their treasured autographs, photos and life-size stand-ups and
were looking forward to not having to sit and lie on the floor of the
Center again (as there were no chairs) and taking their boots off of
their blistered feet, but they wouldn’t trade it all for anything.  Many
have already purchased their tickets for 2014 when the attendance will
increase once again and there will be even more artists to meet.

hand cramps from signing, no sleep and no time for food breaks, the
artists couldn’t have been happier with their adventure and wished they
could do it more than once a year.  Off they go, back to their tour
buses, back on the road to go to the fans after the fans have come to them here in Music City…….. (c) by S. Parks

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