Excitement building for Jimmy Dean Music and Arts Festival

PLAINVIEW – The Jimmy Dean Music and Arts Festival is going to be incredible this year, organizers say as excitement builds toward the two-day weekend event at Wayland Baptist University’s Plainview campus.

Painting with a Twang has sold out, the Laney Activity Center is booked with more than 50 arts and crafts vendors, local entertainers are ready to perform on the outdoor stage and ticket sales for two premium indoor concerts are available.

“It’s going to be absolutely awesome this year,” said Gary Vaughn, marketing director for the festival. “This event honoring Plainview native Jimmy Dean has been taken to the next level with chart-toping entertainment, a host of arts and crafts vendors, family fun for everyone and some great food.”

The festivities begin at 5 p.m. Friday when the Plainview Lions Club fires up the grill for a pre-concert hamburger supper. And that’s just the beginning of the mouth-watering food throughout the weekend. Top notch food trucks from throughout the region will be lined up outside of Laney Activity Center on Saturday.

The music starts at 7 p.m. Friday, when Billy Dean, who is back with a chart-climbing country single, takes the stage at Harral Memorial Auditorium. In addition to performing his new single “The Rest is Mine”, Dean will be singing his hits like “Billy the Kid”, “Only Here for a Little While” and “Somewhere in My Broken Heart.” It will all be a part of “An Evening with Billy Dean,” where Dean plans to get close to the audience while performing on acoustical guitar and sharing the stories behind his hits.

“It’s going to be like having Billy Dean performing in your living room,” Vaughn said. “That’s why we are urging folks to get their tickets now. The intimate seating of Harral Memorial Auditorium is going to make Dean’s performance something to remember.”

Smith Auto Family sponsors the Friday night concert, which also includes a warm-up performance by Floydada native Jason Nutt and Highway 70. If any tickets remain, they will be sold at the door. Advance tickets are only $35 and are available at JimmyDeanMuseum.com. Limited seating is available.

The music continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with outdoor performances by musicians like Grammy-nominated Tejano singer David Lee Rodriguez, energetic saxophonist Adaryll Jordan, country singer Kelly Hastey, and last year’s crowd favorite, The Royal Priesthood from Happy Union Baptist Church.

While the entertainers perform from the steps of Hutchison Center, Laney Activity Center will be packed with arts and crafts vendors. A children’s area with bounce houses, games and much more will be in between.

“The response has been incredible,” Vaughn said. “The arts and crafts area will be packed out with vendors and the list of food trucks just keeps growing. It seems like everyone wants to be a part of the Jimmy Dean Music and Arts Festival this year.”

While tickets are available for the evening concerts, everything from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday is free. Plus, the rarely seen Jimmy Dean jewelry collection will be on display at the museum.

“Just bring some pocket change to use at the food trucks, but everything else is on us on Saturday as we celebrate the life of country music legend and sausage king Jimmy Dean,” Vaughn said. “Folks are not going to want to miss this bigger-than-life celebration of Plainview’s favorite son. And you can even see his diamond-studded belt buckle and other items in his nearly $1million jewelry collection.”

Capping off the Jimmy Dean Music and Arts Festival at 7 p.m. Saturday will be a tribute concert by Noel and Ben Haggard, sons of country music legend Merle Haggard, a contemporary of Jimmy Dean. Merle Haggard had 38 No.1 singles during his decades-long career, and his boys will be performing many of those hits.

United Supermarkets sponsors the Saturday night concert, which also includes a warm-up performance by local artist and businessman Steve Burris with the High Plains Drifters. If any tickets remain, they will be sold at the door. Advance tickets are only $35 and are available at JimmyDeanMuseum.com

Vaughn said the Jimmy Dean Music and Arts Festival is a community event, a partnership between the Jimmy Dean Museum, Wayland Baptist University and 21 community sponsors. In addition to Smith Auto Family and United Supermarkets, he said sponsors include H-E-B, American State Bank, High Plains Concrete, Happy State Bank, McDonald’s, Edward Jones Investments, Mark and Freada Warren, Lewis Kaufman Reid Stukey Gattis & Co., Tim and Stacie Hardage, Dotson Insurance, Plainview Lions Club, Farmer’s Insurance – King Agency, Bill Cross, Higginbotham, Western Equipment, Webb & Webb Vision Center, Chicken Express, Dos Jefes and Bill Wells Chevrolet.