Tuesday, September 3, 2013 , Updated 12:00 p.m., September 27, 2013
Country artists Casey Donahew and Randy Rogers to headline Lewisville Western Days
A slew of other local bands will play three stages during the weekend event.
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LEWISVILLE City officials recently announced that two bands circling the Texas country music scene would headline the 2013 Western Days festival.
Casey Donahew and Randy Rogers will headline the annual Western Days festival September 27 and 28 in Old Town Lewisville. The Randy Rogers Band will headline the opening night of the festival at 10 p.m. on the Bud Light Main Stage, while The Casey Donahew Band will be the featured act on Saturday night to close the festival, taking the Bud Light Main Stage at 10 p.m.
"We always try to aim for Texas country bands with a large regional following," said James Kunke, community relations and tourism director. "We reviewed half a dozen names and finally decided on these two bands."
Both bands have previously played the Western Days festival and were well received. Donahew played at the 2008 Western Days festival, and Rogers played the 2007 and 2012 Western Days festivals.
"Last year The Randy Rogers band drew a good crowd," Kunke said. "The Casey Donahew Band was the lead in band for the headliner in 2008, but he's become much more popular now. We think he'll bring a large festival crowd."
Donahew grew up near Fort Worth, where he started writing songs while in high school. He started playing guitar while in college, and began performing professionally in 2002. His most recent album, StandOff, was released in April and reached number seven on the Billboard country music chart.
Rogers was born in Cleburne and started playing guitar when he was 6 years old. His debut album was released in 2000 as a live recording made in San Marcos. The band's most recent album, Trouble, was released in April and reached number three on the Billboard country music chart.
In addition to the headliners, other local performers will play on three live stages. The two-day festival will also include arts and crafts vendors, gunfight re-enactments, trick ropers, cooking demonstrations, a car show, the ninth annual World Tamale Eating Championship, the Stonecutter 5K, children's fishing area, a stick horse rodeo for kids and a special exhibit of Western artifacts at the Medical Center of Lewisville Grand Theater.
"This year in addition to having cooking demonstrations on the even hours, we're adding grilling demonstrations on the odd hours. We also worked with Gilleys, who is the beer supplier, to have a craft beer area where residents may taste some Texas craft beer," Kunke said. "We also have some new sponsors coming in, and we're bringing back the smaller outdoor stage for local and regional bands."
The festival is free, but a ticket is required. Free tickets will be available starting September 9, at the festival website www.LewisvilleWesternDays.com and through entertainment sponsor 99.5 The Wolf. The festival will run from 7-11:30 p.m. September 27 and 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. September 28.
During last year's festival, city officials had to deal with heavy rains on the second day.
"On the first day of last year's festival, there was a little drizzle so not much had to be rearranged, but on the second day we had a lot of rain. We had to cancel and rearrange nearly everything," Kunke said. "This year, we bought rain insurance so that if that happens again, we at least will recover some money for the headliner acts."
In the nine years the city has organized the event, there have been two instances of rain.
"We had a plan with what to do if it rained, but we never had to practice it," Kunke said. "It turned out that the plan had some holes. We had a plan and most elements worked, but we're more prepared after having to run through the plan last year."
For information, LewisvilleWesternDays.com or call 972-219-3401.
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