Monticello is about to become a little big town, once again.
The 165th Great Jones County Fair is bringing on the star power in the grandstand, featuring Nickelback, Thomas Rhett, Keith Urban and MercyMe.
The fair gets underway Monday (7/17) with entry day and judging beginning for 4-H, FFA and open exhibits, as well as the Open Horse Show on a new day and time, at 4 p.m.
Judging continues Tuesday. It’s also the chance for a sneak peek at the fair, with free gate admission beginning at 6 p.m. Regular gate admission is $10. Other Tuesday highlights include food concessions opening at 6 p.m., carnival ride specials from 6 to 11 p.m., and the queen coronation and motocross at 6:30 p.m.
A truck and tractor pull will be revving up the track at 7 p.m. Wednesday (7/19), followed by harness racing at 11 a.m. July 20, stock car racing at 11 a.m. July 22 and a demolition derby at 11 a.m. July 23. Carnival rides, food, free entertainment, exhibits and animal shows continue throughout the fair.
Here’s a look at the grandstand concerts, all followed by fireworks:
NICKELBACK AND DAUGHTRY
8 p.m. Wednesday (7/19), $43 to $58: This Canadian post-grunge band, formed in 1995, scored its first hit in 2001 with “How You Remind Me.” Other Top 10 hits on U.S. charts include “Photograph” and “Rockstar.”
Daughtry rose to fame placing fourth on “American Idol” in 2006. Afterward, the North Carolina native formed his own band and scored hits with “It’s Not Over” and “Home.”
THOMAS RHETT AND BIG & RICH
8 p.m. Friday (7/21), $39 to $49: Nashville native Thomas Rhett broke into the Top 10 in 2013 with “It Goes Like this” and “Get Me Some of That,” followed by six more chart-topping singles. Big & Rich climbed the charts in 2004 with “Save a Horse” and hit the top in 2007 with “Lost in This Moment.”
KEITH URBAN AND FRANKIE BALLARD
8 p.m. July 22, $45 to $55: Four-time Grammy winner Keith Urban is back, after appearing at the fair in 2013. A former judge on “American Idol,” he’s an idol to plenty of fans. His string of 21 No. 1 hits began with “But for the Grace of God” in 2001, and continues through “Blue Ain’t Your Color” in January 2017. Opening act Frankie Ballard has had hits with “Helluva Life,” “Sunshine & Whiskey” and “Young & Crazy.”
MERCYME AND CROWDER
7 p.m. July 23, $20 to $30: Two heavy hitters in the contemporary Christian realm will bring a spirit of praise and worship to close out the fair. All of MercyMe’s singles are in the Top 10 on Christian charts. But it’s the hauntingly beautiful “I Can Only Imagine” that catapulted the band to fame. Texas native David Crowder has been carving out a solo career after ending the run of the David Crowder Band in 2012.
At the gate or in advance at Greatjonescountyfair.com; free seating on the grassy hillsides; guests also pay $10 fair admission.