SPRINGFIELD — The mystery is no more with Monday's announcement that Montgomery Gentry will be the free Grandstand entertainment Aug. 8 at the Illinois State Fair, following the Twilight Parade.
Fair officials announced last month there would be a free concert for the night of the parade — when the Grandstand is normally dark — but did not identify the band other than to say it would be a “big-name act that everyone will recognize.”
“We are thrilled to work with Central Illinois Toyota Dealers to bring Montgomery Gentry to opening night of the Illinois State Fair,” fair manager Kevin Gordon said in a news release.
“With a star-studded grandstand, contests and daily prize packages, this year’s 10-day extravaganza of Illinois agriculture is sure to be one to remember,” he added.
Montgomery Gentry’s newest EP, “Outskirts,” was released June 14. It is the last project that Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry worked on before Gentry’s death in a helicopter crash in September 2017.
With what the news release described as massive fan support, band members opted to continue touring in Gentry’s honor, splitting his vocal duties rather than replacing him because, Montgomery said, “You can’t replace Troy. You never could, no matter who you put in there.”
A contest ran June 24 to July 5 on the Illinois State Fair Facebook page, where there were clues about the identity of the mystery band. Correct entries were put into a drawing for pairs of backstage passes, admission tickets to the fair that night and a parking pass.
The news release said there were 10 winners.