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Allentown Fair takes the torch from Musikfest, keeps Lehigh Valley alive with sound

By , - Last modified: August 9, 2013 at 12:12 PM

Musikfest might be a tough act to follow, but there won't be any downtime in keeping the Lehigh Valley alive with entertainment as the great Allentown Fair kicks off Aug. 27.

Operated by the Lehigh County Agricultural Society, the Allentown Fair will showcase some of the nation's top artists as well as local vendors and musicians. For more than a century and half, the fair has been bringing businesses and residents of the community together for a special weekend on a 46-acre fairground in the City of Allentown.

Dedicated to supporting the achievement of farmers, gardeners and homemakers, the fair enables children to learn where their food comes from while spending the day riding rides, playing games and seeing shows. The fair is full of international cuisine, musical concerts, thrill shows and more.

Headlining the Grandstand to kick things off this year is John Mayer, with the support of American Idol alumnus Phillip Phillips. Tickets are $46 and $66, with a show time of 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

Wednesday's show is co-headlined by teen singing sensations Austin Mahone and Bridgit Mendler. Tickets are $25 and $39.

Thursday's show is Grammy Award Winning artist Zac Brown Band. With nine No. 1 country singles, Zac Brown Band has been on the top of the charts and is making its stop at the fair as part of its tour to support its fifth album, "Uncaged." Tickets are $69 and are general admission. Some reserved seats are available in the covered grandstand.

Friday night will showcase singer Luke Bryan. An emerging favorite in the country music scene, Bryan is making his second appearance at the fair. Last year, he supported Jason Aldean, whose show set a box office record in ticket sales. Bryan will be the headliner this year and will have special guests Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line to round out the bill. Tickets are $59.

Saturday night will keep the country vibe with one of the industry's most enduring artists, Toby Keith. With 16 albums under his belt and a string of sold-out concerts spanning the course of two decades, Keith is returning to the fair and will be joined by fellow country artist Kip Moore. Tickets are $45 and $65 for seating, and $80 for a small number of standing spots in the pit area at the front of the stage.

Closing the festival on Sunday night will be the highest ticket-selling comedian in the fair's history, Jeff Dunham. Known as one of the most successful ventriloquists of all time, Dunham sold an unprecedented 19,000 tickets for two nights of performances at the fair when he and his cast of characters Walter, Achmed the Dead Terrorist, Peanut, Bubba J. and Jose Jalapeno debuted there in 2009. Tickets are $39 and $49.

The Lehigh Valley continues to prosper as one of the most attractive regions in the nation for entertainment, and every year seems to grow stronger. For more information on the fair, visit www.allentownfairpa.org.

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Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland

Christopher Holland is a researcher for Lehigh Valley Business and blogs on arts and entertainment in the region.

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