First-timers and favorites performing at the County Fair |

First-timers and favorites performing at the County Fair

Heidi RicePost Independent StaffGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

RIFLE, Colorado – This will be Bill Pugh’s first-ever performance at the Garfield County Fair Saturday afternoon. In fact, it will be the first time he and some musician buddies have ever played together in public.”We’ve practiced for about a week and a half total,” Pugh said with a laugh. “We’re really just a bunch of beginners.”Not really. Pugh has been singing and writing songs since he was 15, and at one time had a band for about four years.The group will play some easy-listening, country music beginning at noon in the Backstage area of the Garfield County Fairgrounds in Rifle. Backstage is just west of the grandstands, and the shows there on Friday and Saturday are free. Fans can mill around, grab a table, or bring their own lawn chairs.”I’m not sure exactly what we’re supposed to do, where we’re supposed to be – none of that stuff,” Pugh admitted. “But it’ll be fun.”And it may open up some new doors.”One of the guys is already getting his affairs in order because he thinks we’re going to be successful and we’ll be going on tour,” Pugh joked.But if not, Pugh can continue to operate his successful restaurant, Bill’s Cowboy Steakhouse on Main Street in New Castle.

Other first-time fair entertainers are performing on Saturday, too.Just before Pugh’s show, two talented groups of local folklorico dancers take the stage.The Santa Maria Dancers, a seasoned group of adult dancers, will perform along with their younger dance troupe, Sol de Mexico. Sol de Mexico was formed in Rifle just a few months ago and the 25 young dancers, aged 6-14, will be performing for the first time.They’ll present a series of carefully preserved traditional dances that are carried over from generation to generation, according to Jessica Hernandez, director and teacher of the group.”In Mexico there are 31 states, and each state has its own music, dances and costumes. Sol de Mexico will be performing dances from the region of Jalisco,” Hernandez said.”We’ve worked pretty hard the last few months. The purpose of our group is to keep our children involved in an activity that would teach them a little bit of our Hispanic traditions, and at the same time give them a way to interact with other children and our community through presentations, music and dance.”The group is made up mainly of Hispanic children, but is open to all youngsters.

Everything from rock ‘n roll, alternative, rhythm and blues and country music will be played when The Missing Link Band kicks off the musical entertainment lineup at 3 p.m. on Friday.The band is made up of local musicians that include Nick Kuhlmann on percussion, Erik MacPherson on guitar and vocals, Paul Barker on bass and Holly Guerin on lead vocals. The Missing Link Band is described as an eclectic, talented, upbeat group that believes there are two kinds of music – good and bad. They take the best that music has to offer and infuse their individual abilities to create tunes that are sure to bring pleasure to their listeners.James & the Devil takes the Backstage stage at 5 p.m. Spinning off rock ‘n roll sounds with mountain-grass, funk, hip hop and rhythmic dance chemistry, James & the Devil is a Denver-based group that tours the Rocky Mountains playing on the local scene and for events that help to promote good causes. They are happiest while playing music and uniting people.After the music winds down, the Mobile FMX Motorcycle Stunt Show takes off – literally – in the grandstands arena at 7 p.m.

Bill Pugh plays his mellow country music Backstage at 1 p.m.Next up at 2 p.m. is Derringer, a group of talented musicians from the Western Slope. Derringer’s music draws from influences that range from Brooks and Dunn to the Eagles to classic country. While combining the familiar sounds, they also create a style that is all their own. Derringer has played festivals, including Country Jam, rodeos and bars around the state, along with opening for national acts such as The Pirates of the Mississippi, Doug Supernaw, Rick Trevino, Big House, Dan Seals, Michelle Wright, STYX, Dwight Yoakam, the Little River Band, Black Hawk and Tracy Byrd.The last Backstage band is Dr. MD. Fans of Rush, Pink Floyd, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Hendrix or Iron Maiden will enjoy Dr. MD. The four-member band includes Dave Huey on drums, Ray Martinez on bass guitar and vocals, Mike Osborne on guitar and vocals and Dave Williams on guitar and vocals. Dr. MD has a powerful stage presence, dynamic vocals and lots of energy that makes you want to get up and dance, along with a great sense of humor that keeps the party going between numbers.The fair wraps up Saturday night with the Demolition Derby and Four-Wheeler Race at 7 p.m. as local drivers crash it out for cheers, jeers and great prizes. Get your cars, friends and family ready for the excitement!For more information about the Garfield County Fair, visit

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