Rains hit customers and delay Sam Hunt’s show | News, Sports, Jobs

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ABOVE: Rick Wright, left, and Christian Urbina dismantle the frame of a canopy tent that collapsed in the rains on Sunday at the 176th Canfield Fair…Staff Photo/Andy Gray

CANFIELD – A torrential storm wasn’t going to stop Sam Hunt’s ‘House Party’ at the Canfield Fair – but delayed it.

Heavy rain began around 5 p.m. Sunday, an hour before the grandstand opened for the country superstar.

The rain slowed before 7 p.m. and long queues wrapped around the grandstand waiting for a word. The crowd let out cheers at 7:45 p.m. when the doors finally opened. But that was long after Lily Rose, the first of Bill’s two opening acts, was supposed to start her set.

Some children waded through the puddles that formed on all the flat surfaces of the fairgrounds, but most people gathered for shelter wherever they could find it.

A tornado warning for eastern Mahoning County was issued by the National Weather Service after the worst of the storm passed through Canfield and lifted before 6:45 p.m.

Shortly thereafter, a flash flood warning was issued for Mahoning County.

Heavy rains that caused flooding in streets, parking lots and yards, and high winds that toppled trees and power lines were reported in parts of Boardman, Poland, Campbell, Struthers and Lowellville.

Reports indicated extreme weather north of US Route 224 with many areas flooded. Route 224 between Locust Avenue and Glenwood Avenue, for example, was closed for a time.

On the fairgrounds at this time, Jeff Wright and Christian Urbina were working to pick up the Seven-Seventeen Credit Union awning they were working on until it collapsed.

“There was too much water on the roof and it fell,” Wright said.

Nobody was under it when it fell.

The threat of rain clearly impacted attendance at the Sunday fair, but many of those who had already purchased tickets to the concert – which ranged from $42.50 to $125 – were already there when the rain started.

Brandon Reymer of Ashland drove about 90 minutes to see the show and arrived in the middle of the deluge.

“I thought for sure it would be canceled,” Reymer said. “We had tickets to see him at Blossom in 2020 when COVID hit. I thought that was going to be canceled too.

Yet he never thought of turning back.

“Our attitude was, we have to go until they cancel it,” he said.

The show started more than an hour late due to the waterlogged track where floor seats had been set up. Opening act Lily Rose said her band would play an abbreviated set.

Hunt has two full albums, 2014’s ‘Montevallo’ and 2020’s ‘Southside’, but the pair included eight combined No. 1 country hits – ‘Leave the Night On’, ‘Take Your Time’, ‘House Party’, ‘Make I miss you”, “Body Like a Back Road”, “Kinfolks”, “Hard to Forget” and “Breaking Up Was Easy in the 90s”. Seven of these songs also made it into the Top 40 of Billboard’s All Genre Hot 100, with “Body Like a Back Road” becoming a top 10 pop hit.

Struthers’ Nikki Mendez and her friends bought tickets a month ago and were happy to hear the concert was coming.

“Rain or shine, it’s going to be a good time if we’re all together,” Mendez said. “I just like country music. There is a good atmosphere for the summer.

John Fogerty and Hearty Har, a band made up of the children of former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman, will host the grandstand for the closing fan show tonight.

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