Jeff Dunham
Jeff Dunham

The York Fair has begun to round out its weekend Grandstand schedule.

Country pop group Lady Antebellum will headline the fair's Grandstand of Stars this summer, with a show beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, officials announced Monday. The band has six No. 1 hits, including "Need You Now," "Just A Kiss" and "We Owned the Night."

Country singer Joe Nichols will open the show.

Another new act will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 12, when ventriloquist Jeff Dunham and his gang of dummies perform as part of his Disorderly Conduct Tour. The comedian has sidekicks ranging from Walter the Grumpy Retiree to Achmed the Dead Terrorist to the beer-fueled redneck Bubba J.

Country, comedy: Lady Antebellum was supposed to play at last year's York Fair, but frontwoman Hillary Scott became pregnant and the band had to cancel, said Michael Froehlich, the fair's general manager. Tickets were selling well until then, he said, so he's expecting another good response from fans.

The band also continues a country trend, as the fair announced in December that young country star Hunter Hayes will hit the Grandstand stage at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 13.

"We think we've got a great lineup started for this year's fair," Froehlich said.

But of course there's more than music on the schedule.

"Country acts have always done well, but then again, the comedy acts have always done well," Froehlich said.

And when Dunham came to the fair a couple of years ago, lots of fans came to see him, he said.

"Everyone loves him," Froehlich said. "He's always bringing on new characters and new routines."

Special features: Fair officials continue to look for other acts to help round out the entertainment schedule and hope to finish the lineup in about a month, Froehlich said.

This offseason, the fair has expanded track seating at the Grandstand, widening aisleways, increasing the number of rows and allowing for more room on the track, he said.

"So we think that's going to give those people that want a seat up close a much better atmosphere," Froehlich said.

Like last year, any Grandstand ticket purchased — excluding will-call tickets — includes free admission into the fair. Admission was $8 for adults last year.

That has been a very popular feature for the fair, Froehlich said.

"We're always trying to tweak things to make things better for concertgoers," he said.

— Reach Mollie Durkin at