Country superstar Ronnie Milsap, a Robbinsville native and Country Music Hall of Famer, will headline Oct. 16 at Dorton Arena the fifth night of the N.C. State Fair. Rick Diamond Getty Images for Black River Entertainment
Country superstar Ronnie Milsap, a Robbinsville native and Country Music Hall of Famer, will headline Oct. 16 at Dorton Arena the fifth night of the N.C. State Fair. Rick Diamond Getty Images for Black River Entertainment

Music News & Reviews

NC State Fair brings homegrown music to Dorton Arena

By David Menconi

dmenconi@newsobserver.com

October 12, 2017 01:28 PM

The N.C. State Fair kicked off Thursday, and with that the third year of the Homegrown Music Fest concerts with acts from North Carolina, or with ties to North Carolina.

All of the shows are free to attend with paid fair admission.

The State Fair runs through Oct. 22 at the State Fairgrounds.

Country superstar Ronnie Milsap, a Robbinsville native and Country Music Hall of Famer, is this year’s biggest name. He’ll headline Oct. 16 at Dorton Arena, the fifth night of the fair.

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Other Dorton draws include rising country hitmakers Parmalee, 1990s-vintage Chapel Hill pop band Dillon Fence and nights given over to gospel, soul and beach music.

There are also a few out-of-state acts, though with North Carolina connections. Before Jump, Little Children wound up in their hometown of Charleston, S.C., the band formed 26 years ago at the N.C. School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. In a nod to diversity, Jump’s opening act will be She Returns From War, fronted by transgender woman Hunter Park.

And Marcy Playground (of 1997’s “Sex and Candy” fame) is from New York but has numerous business ties to North Carolina through State Fair show producer Deep South Entertainment.

Here’s the complete lineup for all three stages:

Dorton Arena

Oct. 13 – On The Border (tribute to The Eagles)

Oct. 14 – Parmalee, OSMR (country)

Oct. 15 – Come Together with Bay Leaf Church (worship)

Oct. 16 – Ronnie Milsap (country)

Oct. 17 – Building 429, Branan Murphy (Christian rock)

Oct. 18 – Liquid Pleasure, Sleeping Booty (R&B)

Oct. 19 – Marcy Playground, Athenaeum (alternative)

Oct. 20 – Chairmen of the Board featuring Ken Knox (beach)

Oct. 21 – Dillon Fence, Preeesh! (alternative)

Oct. 22 – Jump, Little Children; She Returns from War

Waterfall Stage

Oct. 12 – Zoocru

Oct. 13 – Lemon Sparks, I am Maddox, Handsome Foxes, Yarn

Oct. 14 – Louis Waymore, Dante High, Unifier, Buzzov-en

Oct. 15 – Denver Nixon, Runaway Cab, Zack Mexico, G Yamazawa

Oct. 16 – UltimaNota, 120 Minutes, Jive Mother Mary

Oct. 17 – Big Ron Hunter, Bruxes, Stephanie Quayle

Oct. 18 – Military Day

Oct. 19 – Mint Julep Jazz Band, Kate Rhudy, Castle Wild

Oct. 20 – Janxx, Apples & Airplanes, Zensofly, Four Founders

Oct. 21 – Sound System Seven, Project 919, Rawsole Records presents: BarNanza – A Hip Hop Power Hour, Monika Jaymes

Oct. 22 – Milagro Saints, Motorjunkie, Bronzed Chorus, Shana Tucker

Heritage Circle Stage

Oct. 12 – Cane Mill Road

Oct. 13 – Hey Brothers

Oct. 14 – GrassStreet

Oct. 15 – Lang Sisters Band

Oct. 16 – Sideline

Oct. 17 – Massive Grass

Oct. 18 – Southern Magnolia

Oct. 19 – Three Jack Jenny

Oct. 20 – BackPorch Bluegrass

Oct. 21 – Shannon Baker and the Classic Stepbacks

Oct. 22 – Barefoot Movement

David Menconi: 919-829-4759, @NCDavidMenconi

NC State Fair

The NC State Fair is Oct. 12-22. For details and ticket information, go to ncstatefair.org.