The bandstand at the Coombs Fair will have some seasoned artists as well as some up and coming musicians this year.
The theme of the 102nd annual fair is the year of the cow but besides the 4-H exhibits and special events, there will also be plenty of action on the stage from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9.
The annual event hosted by the Arrowsmith Agricultural Association aims to foster community spirit and there will be more than enough to go around thanks in part to an extensive line up of entertainers.
Musician Shelley Beeston, who has been mentoring quite a few artists in the development stage at The Soundgarden which is located on the fair grounds, said she is presenting some of her young stars on Sunday.
From noon to 1:30 p.m., Beeston’s student showcase will see a wide range of talent performing on stage.
“I’ve chosen eight students to feature from my youngest to my most developed artist. They all demonstrate different stages of development of what I offer for my artist development program at The Soundgarden and each demonstrate unique talents as performers,” she said.
Beeston has invited Joey Clarkson, a recording artist from Courtenay, to perform from 2 to 3 p.m.
At 3:30 p.m. it will be all about girl power when the Moonshine Mollys hit the stage.
The country band from Nanaimo made quite an impression when they performed at the 2014 What Women Want event in Parksville and this time around they have invited the musicians from The Femme Fatales to join them on stage.
Cassandra Smith, Rene Qualizza and Ariel Lloyd make up the Moonshine Mollys. Smith said she has been doing some writing with Jona Kristinsson of The Femme Fatales and agreed it will be a ton of fun to have both groups on stage at once.
“You don’t often see all female bands in country music so this is unique,” she said of the seven-piece all female act that will be on stage at the fair.
She said they will cover some upbeat country songs so she is hoping the dance floor will be full.
“We try to make it a dance show so people get up and dance. I am excited to play at the Coombs Fair because there will be a good group of people who like country music and it is the first show we have done with The Femme Fatales,” she said.
Some of the songs they cover are from female country bands including the Pistol Annies, the Dixie Chicks and Miranda Lambert.
“When we first started I wanted to sing just ballads, but Jona has worked that out of me. I am doing a Linda Ronstadt song and a bunch of others,” she said.
She said some of the original material she has been working on with Kristinsson of The Femme Fatales for a CD down the road will show her fun side.
“I am quirky and I want to get the craziness in life out there. Stuff that makes me laugh that I think that would be a great song.”
For the crowd on Saturday the Rainbow Stew Cloggers will kick off the entertainment at 10 a.m. At 12:15 p.m. Vancouver Island singer songwriter Alannah Clark will perform. Bob Heibert takes the stage at 1:30 p.m. to play some good old bluegrass and country. He plays with a plywood tap on his boot heel, along with harmonicas and a nice old Gibson 12 string. At 2:45 p.m. it is Chris Andres and the Stompin’ Devilles.
The up-beat roots rock band from Parksville was nominated for a VIMA this year.