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Aaron Tippin To Headline City Lights Festival Concert

Wednesday, 16 April 2003
The Jackson Herald

Country music stars Aaron Tippin and T. Graham Brown have rescued the seventh annual City Lights Concert.

Tippin, a 44-year-old, whose big hit "Where the Eagle Flies," is being re-released to feed the sentiments of a nation at war, agreed last week to be the headliner in the June 20 festival at the Commerce High School football field. Brown, whose family lives on a farm near Commerce, came on later in the week.

Jan Nelson, executive director of the Downtown Development Authority, made the announcement of Tippin’s appearance at last Wednesday's meeting of the Commerce Area Business Association. CABA is one of the lead organizations in putting on the four-day festival, of which the concert is the centerpiece.

Tippin is a native of Pensacola, FL, who grew up in Greenville, SC, and now lives in Doweltown, TN. He is best known for "You've Got to Stand for Something," which was his debut hit, and "There Ain't Nothing Wrong with the Radio."

The late announcement was a result of a breakdown of what appeared to be a done deal with mega-star Kenny Chesney, whose tour sponsor in February pulled the plug on the Commerce appearance. There were tentative plans to scale back the concert but Tippin's presence ended that thought.

The lack of a headliner kept the concert planning in limbo for two months, and the City Lights Committee and the CABA are hustling to catch up.

"We're a couple of months behind; we're going to have to make a big push," Nelson observed. But the CABA rejected one time-saving proposal, which was to limit participation in the concert program to the "gold" and "platinum" ($1,000 and $2,000) sponsors. Members argued that closing the door to the smaller supporters would not be fair or appropriate.

The festival has been stretched to four days and there are two new events, a 5K road race Saturday, June 21, and a Christian music concert the following evening.

The tentative schedule is:

Thursday, June 19: City Lights Shootout Celebrity Golf Tournament, 10 a.m., Eagle Greens at Sandy Creek Golf Course, and Dinner with the Stars, Commerce Civic Center, that evening. The time and lineup will be announced later.

Friday, June 20: City Lights Downtown Festival, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. City Lights Concert, that evening at Tiger Stadium, Commerce High School. Time and lineup to be announced later.

Saturday, June 21: City Lights Downtown Festival, 9 am. to 4 p.m. City Lights Star Chase 5K Run and Fun Walk, 9 a.m., downtown.

Sunday, June 22: Christian music concert, details of which will be announced later.

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Apr 16, 2003

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