February 25, 2013

Cheers and Jeers: Feb. 25, 2013


---- — CHEERS to the Franklin County Agricultural Society’s Board of Directors for once again bringing top-level performers to the annual County Fair. Country-music icon Vince Gill and the Little River Band are headliners at the Coca-Cola Grandstand this year, adding to the board’s solid reputation for securing not only well-known acts, but up-and-coming singers who later skyrocket to fame. Veteran performers like the Charlie Daniels Band, Glen Campbell, Randy Travis, Jo Dee Messina, Blue Rodeo, April Wine, Loretta Lynn, the Oak Ridge Boys, Kansas and Eddie Money have all performed in past years at the Franklin County Fair. And following their success on “American Idol,” Kellie Pickler and Crystal Bowersox each appeared at the fair. Before becoming known the world over, artists like Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith and Trisha Yearwood all stepped onto the stage in Malone. The board could have certainly charged a premium price for some of these popular shows but has instead kept its audiences in mind by setting ticket prices below $20 each, much less than one might expect pay for the same act at a different venue. That is appreciated by the fans and helps boost attendance. Board members admit they may have to set ticket prices a little higher for Vince Gill’s show this year because it costs about $65,000 to have him perform. But the tickets will still be a bargain compared to the stadium prices that people pay to see major artists. The fair board members have always put an emphasis on securing higher-profile entertainment for what has become a widely recognized music venue — and that has us singing their praises. 

CHEERS to schools that publish programs listing the names and numbers of the basketball players of both the home and visiting teams. Elizabethtown-Lewis Central School, for example, has a comprehensive handout that covers the modified, junior varsity and varsity squads from ELCS and its competitors. Many fans have remarked that it is informative to know who the players are, rather than just a number. It also is a way of making the visiting teams and their fans feel welcome. Some fans like to keep score, and relatives of the players also retain them as mementos of the game for scrapbooks. We know it takes some effort to coordinate this and a small cost to print the program, but it is greatly appreciated by spectators. We encourage schools that don’t provide that information to think about doing so. Teams need support from the community, certainly in terms of spirit but also often financially, and it helps when people who attend games feel connected with the athletes.

— If you have a Cheers and Jeers suggestion that you want the Editorial Board to consider, email it to Editor Lois Clermont at