Welcome to Great Jones County Fair week everyone! A week filled with amazing country shows in Monticello, Iowa. A week filled with amazing crowds (how great does it feel to type that again). A week filed with amazing fair food, hot weather, and usually at least once chance of severe weather. That is just what Great Jones County Fair week is all about. I've been attending this fair since I was a kid. As an adult, I've had the honor of working for KHAK, and seeing countless amazing concerts from the dirt of the track. But even with all those shows and fairs under my belt, it's not tough for me to come up with my favorite memory of The Great Jones County Fair.

The year was 2013, and one of my favorite artists was finally coming to Monticello. Keith Urban. Holly and I have seen Keith at least a dozen times in concert, and have even meet him in person numerous times. He's as great a person as he is an entertainer. We were so excited to finally be able to see him in our own backyard! But this show was going to be even more special for our family. We decided that it would be our daughter Carly's first ever concert experience. She was only 4 years old when she got her first taste of the track at The Great Jones County Fair. But what a night it was!

Carly has always been, and continues to be, my music lover. Before she discovered Harry Styles, and Taylor Swift, she listened to what her dad did, and she developed a love for Keith Urban. We'd watch his music videos together and she became pretty familiar with a lot of his songs. She was pretty excited when she found out that she got to see Keith in concert. She was a bit nervous though when she found out that she would also get to meet him.

Holly Brainard

After finding out that they would get to meet Keith, Holly took Carly out and had two necklaces custom made. Carly then gave them to Keith as a gift for his two daughters, Faith and Sunday Rose. I always chuckle and wonder how far those gift bags made it, but it was the thought that counts! After the meet and greet we got Carly her first ever tour t-shirt and headed for the track and the start of the show.

I'll never forget the first song Keith started with that night, 'Long, Hot, Summer'. Carly turned around and looked up at me and said, "I know this song!" I laughed and told her she would know all of the songs on this night! I remember her dancing in her little cowboy boots on the track, and us holding her up so she could see. And then something really cool happened. One of the security guards near the stage that night saw us holding her up to see. He held out his arms and said "hand her to me." He swooped her up and put her up on the end of the stage so she could dance and see the show. She loved it! At one point during the show, with Holly, Carly and I standing together on the track, a nice woman from California who followed Keith Urban around the country, offered to take our picture. I was sure I'd never see it, but she assured me she'd email it to me when she got back to the West coast. A little over a week later, she sent it to me. Photographic proof of my favorite Great Jones County fair memory.

Ryan Brainard
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Great Jones County Fair Country Concerts 2015-2019


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