Country stars will headline Ocoee Founders' Festival

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  • | 8:00 a.m. November 6, 2014
  • West Orange Times & Observer
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Some of country music's biggest stars will perform at Ocoee’s 21st Annual Founders’ Day Festival, this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 7 and 8.

Kellie Pickler, who won ABC’s 16th season of “Dancing With the Stars” and received an American Country Award nomination for Female Music Video of the Year for “Someone Somewhere Tonight” last year, will perform at the end of Friday’s concert.

Chris Young, who won the Country Music Association Triple Play Award last year for number-one hits “Voices,” “Tomorrow” and “You,” will close the festival with a performance at Saturday’s concert.

The new single on "A.M.," Young’s new album, is called “Lonely Eyes” and co-written by Orlando-area native Johnny Bulford.

“I’ve been down there (in the Orlando area) with Johnny, and he’s shown me around the area,” Young said. “The festival’s going to be awesome. They asked me (to perform at it), and we’re looking forward to it.”

Young and Pickler are touring festivals in part to promote their newest albums, but both said they would perform songs from past albums at the Founders’ Day Festival, too.

“We’ll play songs from the first three albums, of course,” Pickler said. “We’ll mostly play songs from the new album, "The Woman I Am." We’ll do all the singles off the current album. We’re known to throw in classics, as well.”

Pickler released "The Woman I Am" on Nov. 11, 2013, as her first album for Black River Entertainment. It debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard Country Albums Chart. She released a limited-edition vinyl album of "The Woman I Am" with different artwork from the original CD June 27, as well as a special pink vinyl version for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

Pickler said this would be her first performance at the Ocoee Founders’ Day Festival, but that she had scheduled all kinds of shows in Florida this year.

“We are still in the festival season in country music,” she said. “It’s fun to be able to travel and sing my little songs in front of anyone who is there and who wants to listen.”

Young released "A.M." Sept. 17, to a debut at No. 3 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, marking his highest-charted album. “Who I Am With You,” the album’s second single, became Chris’s sixth chart-topper and his seventh gold single. The song topped Rolling Stone’s list of Best Country Songs of 2014. This year, Young has toured with musical groups such as Dierks Bentley, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert and country legend George Strait.

As for Young’s performance, he said to expect something different from when he performed with Brad Paisley in the Central Florida area earlier this year.



“The show my band has built will be different from early this year from top to bottom,” Young said. “We’ll play our stuff, maybe a cover now and then to surprise people. Just radio stuff to have fun with.”

Other musical groups performing at the festival include Mason Grace, Spayed Koolie, Josh Thompson, Courtney Cole, Bellamy Brothers, “The Voice” finalists Swon Brothers and Southern Brotherz Band, which includes Ocoee resident Critter.

In addition to live music, on Saturday, the festival will feature The Chik-fil-A 5K and Kids’ Fun Run, starting 7:30 a.m. at the intersection of McKay Street and Bluford Avenue; church tours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., including Ocoee Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), one of the oldest churches in Florida; a marketplace along Bluford Avenue from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., including jewelry, arts and crafts, displays, face painting, carnival rides and food; a Classic Car Show starting at 10 a.m. on Bluford; the Fab Five Family Fishing Tournament on Starke Lake at 10 a.m.; and Withers Maguire House & Museum Tours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

After Young’s performance, a fireworks show will light the sky before attendees make their ways home.


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