Vanilla Ice to perform in Gun Barrel City's July Fest Concert; 2-day celebration starts July 6
by David Webb
David Webb is a veteran journalist who has written for the mainstream and alternative media for three decades. He is now a freelancer who lives in the Cedar Creek Lake area. He is the editor of cedarcreeklake.com. E-mail story ideas to email@example.com.
GUN BARREL CITY -- Rapper turned rocker Vanilla Ice will perform at the July Fest Concert Saturday, July 7, at the new Pavilion and Amphitheater in the Gun Barrel City Park.
The concert featuring the nationally-known performer, whose real name is Robert Matthew Van Winkle of Dallas, will highlight the city's two-day Independence Day celebration.
Three other Texas performers -- Fort Worth singer and The Ranch radio DJ Charla Corn, Texas Country/Red Dirt singer and songwriter Stoney LaRue of Taft and Gospel singer and guitarist Chris Weis of Athens -- will share the stage on Saturday with the white rapper who gained stardom in 1989.
The gates will open for the concert at 5 p.m. on Saturday, and the music will begin with Weis at 5:30 p.m., Corn at 7 p.m. and LaRue at 8:30 p.m. Vanilla Ice will take the stage at 10:30 p.m.
Vanilla Ice's music style has shifted over the years to a less mainstream, more rock-oriented sound, according to music critics. He maintains a loyal underground following, and he released the album, "WTF -- Wisdom, Tenacity & Focus" in 2011. He has appeared in the Cedar Creek Lake area in concert in the past.
Admission to the concert is $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Students, seniors over 55 and military personnel pay $7 in advance and $15 at the gate.
The July Fest celebration will kick off on Friday, July 6, with The Fan 105.3 sports radio station out of Dallas broadcasting live at Denny's at 5:30 a.m., The Ranch House at 10:30 a.m. and the Gun Barrel City Pavilion at 2:30 p.m. The radio station will be bringing sports figures and bands for the live remote broadcasts.
The scheduled broadcasts came about as a result of city officials entering the radio station's "Hometown Takeover" contest and winning.
Extreme Fun Providers Carnival will set up in the park featuring carnival machine rides during the celebration. Wristbands are $20 for the day or tickets for rides can be purchased for $1 each with three to five tickets required per ride.
On both days there will also be arts and crafts booths, pony rides, a water walking pool, games and food and drink.
On Saturday the celebration will feature the "Gun Barrel City Shooting Star Singing Contest" in the Pavilion at 9 a.m. The entry fee is $10, and any age person is eligible. The top five will be chosen for the finals, and the winner of the finals receives the proceeds of all the entry fees as a prize and gets to sing their winning song on stage.
The July Fest celebration became a political controversy in the past year because former Mayor Dennis Wood, backed by some residents, objected to the city's $30,000 funding of the event and the policy of allowing alcoholic beverages to be brought into the park by celebrants. Other City Council members disagreed with Wood, and he lost the election in May.
This year, the City Council decided not to allow celebrants to bring coolers inside the concert gates, but beer will be sold at a concession stand.
For information about July Fest visit www.gunbarrelcity.net.
Pictured below is Vanilla Ice, Corn, LaRue and Weis.
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