FORT LORAMIE — Love was in the air on Thursday at Country Concert 2016.
This year, the three day event attracted newcomer Barb Orthwein, who was brought by her fiance Rick Ford, both of Napoleon, Ohio. They shared with the Sidney Daily News their love story and how it brought them to Hickory Hills Lake.
“It’s a love story really. When I got married it broke her heart, so when we both got divorced we picked up right where we left off,” Ford said.
Ford, who’s been to Country Concert three times himself, said Barb saved his life and they got engaged this past Christmas.
“Her ex-husband pooped out on bringing her, so I decided I would,” Ford said.
Orthwein and Ford, who are recently retired, (and very in-love, Ford added) took that opportunity to check out all the great music this year; specifically Sam Hunt and Dierks Bentley. Ford added he would love to see Shania Twain, but doesn’t think that will happen.
“My sister got engaged on the same day we did and she’s already gotten married. We haven’t set a date yet, but we’re thinking about bringing them with us here next year to celebrate their anniversary,” Orthwein said.
Also celebrating their love at Country Concert were Tim and Chris Potts, who were celebrating their anniversary. The Potts’ have been traveling down from Lima for five or six years now to enjoy the music and fun of the weekend.
“It’s great to see all the people. And everyone is level headed here,” Chris said. She and Tim are looking forward to Brantley Gilbert and Eric Church.
Mark and Sarah Schalow, of Holland, Ohio, have been coming to Country Concert for four years in a row. In the past their favorite acts have been Florida Georgia Line, The Band Perry, and Luke Bryan.
“Getting to hear this music live and outdoors is great. By the end of the weekend, it’s amazing to see, no one is arguing or disagreeing, everyone is just enjoying the music and having a good time,” Mark said. “You can party, hang out and let your guard down.”
Sarah is excited to see Dustin Lynch, Brantley Gilbert, and Sam Hunt.
Angela Dale, from Indiana, and her group of friends are looking forward to Eric Church. Dale has been coming for three years now.
First-timers Haley Hamblin, of Sidney, and Courtney Hufford, of Botkins, are excited to see Thomas Rhett.
Kelly and Jennifer, from Dayton, were very excited to see Canaan Smith. Kelly said she likes coming to Country Concert for the great fun that is had by all.
Locals Ray and Wanda Laughman, of Russia, said they have been coming to Country Concert for eight or nine years now. They love the music, the people, and the excitement. This year they are looking forward to Eric Church the most.
Thursday featured artists: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dustin Lynch, Brantley Gilbert, Carter Winter, William Michael Morgan, and Canaan Smith.
If you still want to go:
Friday, July 8:
4 p.m.: Chris Janson
6 p.m.: Big & Rich
8 p.m.: Sam Hunt
10 p.m.: Dierks Bentley
5 p.m.: The Wolfe Brothers
7 p.m.: Cam
9:15 p.m.: The Wolfe Brothers
Saturday, July 9:
Noon: Brothers Osborne
2 p.m.: Cassadee Pope
4 p.m.: A Thousand Horses
6 p.m.: Kacey Musgraves
8 p.m.: Thomas Rhett
10 p.m.: Eric Church
11 a.m.: Pilgrim
1 and 3 p.m.: Haley Georgia
5 p.m.: The SteelDrivers
7 p.m.: Brothers Osbourne
9:15 p.m.: The SteelDrivers
To purchase tickets, or book camping, visit countryconcert.com, or call 937-295-3000.
Reach this writer at 937-538-4825.