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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Three generations enjoy CMA Fan Festival

Friday, September 2, 2011

Clay County women (from left) Krista Stearley, Kim Stearley and Susie Freeman attended the 2011 CMA Festival Fan Fair in Nashville, Tenn. The ladies were able to see a variety of concerts, as well as meet some country music stars. Next year's Fan Festival is scheduled for June 7-10, 2012.
Three Clay County women took an unforgettable trip to the Country Music Association (CMA) Music Festival Fan Fair in Nashville, Tenn., this past June.

The three generations, including Susie Freeman, Kim Stearley and Krista Stearley, spent four full days enjoying country music concerts with artists like Dierks Bentley, The Band Perry, Darius Rucker and Taylor Swift.

The Fan Fair takes place each June and consists of country music stars that perform every day, all day, on three different stages.

At 8 p.m. each night, the fans head to LP Field, the Nashville stadium and home of the Tennessee Titans, for concerts with the biggest stars, usually lasting until 1 a.m.

Susie, her daughter and granddaughter went with Turner Tours in a cargo van and stayed at a motel on Music Row just down the street from the OpryLand Hotel.

"It was a very nice trip," said Susie. "For me, it was a once-in-a-lifetime trip."

At LP Field, the women had reserved seating in the bottom section around the 30-yard line.

"We had excellent seats," said Susie, who enjoyed Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton and the Zac Brown Band the most.

"Keith Urban also put on a really good show," she said. "He even walked right up into the audience."

Krista Stearley, 22, stands next to Ashley Geary at the 2011 CMA Festival Fan Fair in Nashville, Tenn. Krista attended the event in June with her mother and grandmother.
She was disappointed that Reba McEntire only performed four songs, but she said she was excited to see so many extra stars that she wasn't expecting.

"Randy Travis came out and surprised everyone," she said. "A lot of stars we never dreamed would be there, that weren't on the program, came out to perform. Alabama came out to perform with Brad Paisley unexpectedly."

Susie said she met many people at the concerts.

"All ages of people were there," she said. "Some people have been going for 40 years."

Fans were also able to meet some artists and get autographs.

Krista, 22, stood in line for two-and-a-half hours to meet Laura Bell Bundy. She got her autograph and took a picture with her. She also got her picture taken with Kellie Pickler.

Kim bought Shania Twain's autobiographical book, "From This Moment On." The next day she stood in line for 45 minutes to get a bracelet. Only those who were able to get a bracelet after buying the book were allowed to get Twain's autograph.

"I waited two hours the next day to see her," said Kim, "and I was toward the beginning of the line."

Other artists at the Fan Fair were Little Big Town, Josh Turner, Trace Adkins, Martina McBride and Rascal Flatts.

"It was well worth it," said Kim. "I would definitely go back if I ever had the chance."

Next year's Fan Festival is scheduled for June 7-10, 2012.

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