Saturday night, country singer Curtis Grimes, should feel at home even though it will be his first visit to Great Bend, where he will perform at Al Burns Memorial Field. The headline entertainer for Great Bend’s Party in the Park, began his college career playing baseball.
“I didn’t even get started in music until my freshman year of college.” he said in a telephone interview with The Great Bend Tribune Wednesday afternoon. That’s when he started playing in a band with some friends.
As luck would have it, the band won a spot opening for Kenny Chesney for his “Poets and Pirates,” tour about three months after his band started playing out at local establishments around his hometown of Gilmer, Texas. Two other big breaks include opening for Toby Keith and appearing as a teammate of Cee Lo Green’s on “The Voice,” in 2011.
In fact, his appearance on “The Voice,” is what he credits for paving the way for his growing popularity both inside and outside of Texas. His new album, “Our Side of the Fence,” has two singles that have hit the top spot on the Texas Music Chart and the Texas Regional Radio Chart. The title song, and now “The Cowboy Kind” has been there for two weeks in a row.
“Weather I’m playing my acoustic guitar in front of seven people, or I’m opening for Toby Keith at the South Dakota State Fair, I love interacting with the audience,” Grimes said. He was on the road, headed to Joplin, Mo. for a Thursday night performance, and another stop in Kansas before arriving in Great Bend Saturday.
“I like to have my audience close,” he said. “Having them close enough to spill beer and shout out requests is the kind of thing I’m used to.”
Gates open at Al Burns Field at 6 p.m., and the concert begins at 6:30 p.m. with red dirt country singer Ricky Fugitt starting things off, followed by King Midas and the Mufflers, tagged as “Kansas’ Longest Performing Rock & Roll Band,” leading up to the Vet’s Park fireworks display and Grimes’ performance. Wristbands can be purchased at the City Office for $5, or for $10 at the door for admittance to the concert. Coolers will be allowed.
Clean dirty fun
In the morning, the party starts with the Tuff Enuff Mud Run at 9 a.m., followed by the mud volleyball tournament at 9:30 a.m., both at the volleyball courts at Veterans Memorial Park.
As of Monday there were 12 teams registered to compete. Wednesday was the last day to register teams.
At 10:30 a.m., the Golden Belt Humane Society will host fun at the dog park with demonstrations and pet related vendors on site.
After the heat of the day passes, the second wave of fun begins at 3 p.m. with a pie eating contest, a community mural project, and caricature drawings.
Later in the afternoon, the Optimists will host an inflatable fun zone at the park from 4p.m. to 7 p.m., and Big Brothers Big Sisters will host a pig feed from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Party goers will also have a chance to visit the Party in the Park car show that will be set up on the west side of Vets Park from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Vintage cars and dragsters will be featured.
Throughout the day, jumbo games and vendors will be open for browsing, as well as sales and activities throughout Great Bend.