By Joe Tash
American Idol winner and country music sensation Scotty McCreery, classic pop singer Kenny Loggins, comedian Jeff Dunham and Latin crooner Joan Sebastian are among the acts that will take the grandstand stage during this summer’s San Diego County Fair.
The board of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, which manages the state-owned Del Mar fairgrounds, unanimously approved contracts with a number of performers at its meeting on Tuesday, March 13.
Fairgrounds officials said the list of performers approved Tuesday was partial, and that additional contracts will be brought to the board at its meeting next month. The 2012 San Diego County Fair runs from Friday, June 8, through Wednesday, July 4. The fair will be closed on Mondays, except for July 2.
Many of the concerts are free with fair admission, and tickets for those that require an additional charge will go on sale this Saturday, March 17, at 10 a.m. through Ticketmaster and the fairgrounds box office. More information can be found at www.sdfair.com.
Dunham, a ventriloquist, will be the highest-paid among the performers approved Tuesday, at $200,000. Next was Joan Sebastian, who will be paid $190,000.
A fair staffer announced that McCreery, last year’s American Idol winner, will also be performing, although his contract had not been finalized and was not on the board’s agenda for approval. McCreery made history in October, when his debut album, “Clear as Day,” entered the Billboard charts at No. 1. He was the first country and western performer, and the youngest, at age 18, to debut in the top spot.
Other grandstand acts include San Diego-based alternative rock band Switchfoot, pop singer Cody Simpson, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, KC and the Sunshine Band, Matisyahu and Weird Al Yankovic.
Gospel artist Donnie McClurkin will perform on Saturday, June 9, following a performance by a 1,000-voice gospel choir composed of San Diego County residents, fair officials said.
Rounding out the grandstand shows approved Tuesday by the board are Larry Hernandez, Latin; Demi Lovato, pop; Hot Chelle Rae, pop; La Arrolladora Banda El Limon, Latin; and Julian Alvarez, Latin.
Also approved by the board was a list of performers at other fairgrounds venues, including popular hypnotist Mark Yuzuik, the Doggies of the Wild West and Calamity Jo’s Magic Show.
Singer Jim Messina, former partner of Kenny Loggins, will perform on a different day than Loggins as part of the Paddock Concert Series. Other Paddock series performers will include Eric Burdon and the Animals, Ben E. King, Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers and John Tesh.
Michael Jackson and Doors tribute shows are also planned.