Rising Star

Singer Neelly to perform
at Oldham County Fair

The 19-year-old recently competed
on ‘American Idol’

LAGRANGE, Ky. (July 2014) – The 2014 Oldham County Fair opens July 29 with a full schedule of new and traditional events to appeal to adults, teenagers and children. One of the highlights of opening night this year will be the singing of the “National Anthem” by Brandy Neelly, 19, and a 2013 graduate of North Oldham High School.


Photo provided

Brandy Neelly is a North Oldham County High School graduate.

On Feb. 13, Neelly landed a top spot on the popular television show, “American Idol,” her long-time dream. Her fourth time to audition on the show since age 15, Neelly made it to the top 15 among the young women. “It was awesome,” she said.” It was really nice to get the recognition.” She does not plan to return to the show.    
Neelly has been singing since age 9 when her grandfather, the late Harold Decker, encouraged her to start singing. “My grandpa recognized I had a voice,” she said.
“For sure, he was the main inspiration, the reason I started and the reason I’m doing what I’m doing.”
Neelly said she felt “totally close” to her grandpa, a guitar player and vocalist. She attributes him with nurturing her love of country music. Their close musical relationship has evolved into her forming a country music band, “Brandy Neelly and the Branch Water Boys.”
Neelly has moved from Oldham County to Bowling Green, Ky., where she plans to attend Western Kentucky University in the fall. She plans to work toward a degree in the arts and music business.
Meanwhile, she said, “I’m having a lot of fun.”        
The county fair may lack the pizzazz of “American Idol,” but it offers lots of opportunities to have a good time and not spend much money. Yes, there is a charge for parking. It is included in the $10 admission ticket. Once inside, most everything else is included in the admission charge, except for a few booths. That includes rides, the nightly pageants and other events, motor sports and exhibits. 
“It is an active fair,” said Rae Anne Roley, an enthusiastic woman who is director of Home and Family Arts for the county fair.
Roley discussed what is new this year and outlined the fair schedule. In the past, blue ribbon winners in Oldham County could not compete in the Kentucky State Fair, and the fair board did not like this situation, according to Roley. The Oldham County Fair usually is held too late for winners to enter the Kentucky State Fair in time.
Entries for Home and Family Arts now will be taken on July 21, Roley said. They will be judged and displayed the next day, and there will be a reception for them. The 4-H entries will be taken on July 24 and will be judged the weekend before the fair. These entries will be displayed at the county fair. The change was made so that blue ribbon winners could meet the deadline for entries to the Kentucky State Fair, which has been a problem in the past.
On Tuesday, July 29, everything will be free for people who are age 65 or older. Events include the Miss Oldham Pageant, a free Health Fair, and the Town and Country Dinner.
Wednesday – Kids’ Night – will feature a petting barn with goats, sheep, chickens, and rabbits; face painting, crafts and a magician; the Miss Teen Oldham Pageant.
Thursday will feature the Miss Oldham Pre-Teen Pageant and the chocolate contest.
Friday will feature Teen Night; Little Miss and Mr. Pageant; bands for teenagers.
Saturday will feature the Baby Contest and Cutie Pie Contest in the morning, and the third annual Special Needs Contest (no entry fee); the All-Breed Horse Show. In the afternoon, the Midway will be open; bands for adults; motor sports.
Nightly events include a $25 cash drawing; motor sports events (KOI Dirt Dregs and Demo Derby by Top Dogs) and Smile Contest with $3 prize for the best smile.

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