Tracy Lawrence to headline Heartland fest

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Country veteran returning to Elizabethtown

By Marty Finley

Responding to repeated requests from local residents, Elizabethtown has secured a veteran of country music to close out the Heartland Festival this August.

Tracy Lawrence will take the stage at Freeman Lake Park during a free Saturday night concert at Freeman Lake Park on Aug. 24, according to city officials.

Lawrence, known for hits such as “Alibis,” “Can’t Break it to My Heart,” “My Second Home” and “If the Good Die Young,” is no stranger to Elizabethtown or the park, said Mayor Tim Walker.

“He was here in 1996 and put on a great show,” Walker said. “This one is going to be even better.”

Events Coordinator Sarah Vaughn said one of the city’s goals with the concert series is diversity, and signing Lawrence for the festival obliges requests from local country fans who want to see more acts in the area. Vaughn noted country music resonates well in the area and the state.

In searching for possible performers, organizers landed on Lawrence and realized his schedule was open. The city pounced on the opportunity.

“It’s really hard to land these national acts,” Vaughn said. “It’s a very difficult thing to do.”

General admission for the concert is free, but there will be a limited number of VIP tickets available for purchase at a later date. Vaughn said the city also may increase its parking fees during afternoon and evening hours to help offset concert expenses. It will likely cost between $20,000 and $35,000 to host Lawrence at the park, she said.

Once set, the parking fees will be released to the public in advance on the festival’s website, she said.

The city is actively outlining the rest of the schedule for the two-day event and is hoping to bring back the balloon race and other festival staples.

“Tracy Lawrence will provide a fantastic close to the event,” she said.

According to a news release, the city has already booked carnival rides alongside the Future Farmers of America’s petting farm, a music stage with a new artist every hour, a mud volleyball tournament, Grace Heartland Church’s movie night, a baby contest, and a show by BMX rider Chris Clark among other events.

The Bob Swope parade theme contest also returns this year, and the city has added a t-shirt design contest open to all high school students in Hardin County, according to the news release.

The festival’s hours have been set from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. A full schedule for the festival will be finalized and released at a later date at www.heartlandfestivalinthepark.com.

For more information, go to the website or contact Vaughn at (270) 765-6121.

Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or mfinley@thenewsenterprise.com.