Nashville recording artist returns to old stomping grounds in Franklin County
Nashville recording artist Jason Kabler is back in his hometown of Greencastle, Pa., and ready to rock the Franklin County Fair.
Kabler will step onto the Midway Stage at the county fair on Wednesday, July 10, to perform some of his original songs including “Fireball” and “Angel in Disguise,” as well as an eclectic mix covering artists from Maroon 5 to Frank Sinatra. Kabler’s performances are scheduled for 7 and 9 p.m.
“How many musicians are you going to hear say, ‘Yeah for this tour, I’ve added Frank Sinatra and Maroon 5,’” Kabler said about his unique play list.
“My live shows are crazy. I do everything from Buddy Holly, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Ozzy Osbourne, Elton John and Imagine Dragons. I am literally everywhere,” he said.
Kabler, who graduated in 1992 from Greencastle-Antrim High School and the Franklin County Career and Technology Center, moved to Nashville and signed his first record deal in 1999.
When he began his music career, Kabler said he was “straight up country,” but since has moved into a more rock/pop vibe.
While he tries to reconnect with his roots in Greencastle several times a year, he wasn’t planning on heading north until he got the call from fair organizers.
“The folks asked me to sing at the fair, and I said, ‘Well let me try to get some other gigs (in the area).’ That quickly turned into 14 gigs. So, here I am,” Kabler said.
Kabler said when fair organizers asked him to play at the fair, he was thrilled.
“I love playing fairs. I’ve done carnivals and fairs really all over the country. But when I was asked about this one, I was absolutely blown away. I was so excited,” he said.
The last time Kabler performed at the fair was in the mid-90s with a band called White Horse.
The 45-year-old homegrown talent promises good music and a great time at his shows.
“I’m hoping the better the crowd, the crazier we get and the more fun we’ll have,” he said.
It’s not uncommon for Kabler to jump off the stage and into the crowd to mingle with his fans.
Growing up in Greencastle, Kabler said when fair week rolled around, you knew you were making plans to go.
“I remember going to the fair (as a kid). I always had a blast there,” he said.
As a self-proclaimed foodie, Kabler said, one of his first stops will be the food stands.
“Definitely, funnel cakes were a must, and I always dug corn dogs and the fresh, squeezed lemonade,” he said.
Typically, he tours 100 days a year, and doesn’t plan on cutting the Franklin County leg off his scheduled gigs, anytime soon.
“I want to keep coming up here. It’s my hometown, and I just love seeing all my friends in Pennsylvania,” he said.
Fair president Brett Reichard said fair organizers knew that Kabler was hot in the area and would be a hit with fair-goers.
This year is the third for the “revamped, century-old fair,” which keeps agriculture as the fair’s main attraction, Reichard said.
The fair also includes livestock shows, tractor displays and pulls, handmade and homegrown exhibits, and barnyard Olympics with plenty of entertainment thrown into the mix.
The festivities will be held at the Chambersburg Rod and Gun Club, 3725 Warm Spring Road, the home of the county fair since 1965.
“Everything has worked out just fine, and we continue to plan to be here. We’re working so well together,” Reichard said about the fair’s relationship with the rod and gun club.
Admission to the fair is free. Parking is $5.
On Sunday, July 7, for the 6 p.m. vesper service, parking will be free.
Competitions get underway Monday with fair royalty contests and dairy judging for 4-H Club and FFA members. Club members will be showing rabbits Monday, steers and dairy cattle Tuesday and goats on Wednesday. The youth animal dress-up contest is Wednesday. Talent and karaoke contests are Friday. Truck and tractor pulls are set for Monday, Wednesday (antique), Thursday and Friday. Saturday is Family Fun Day, featuring activities for children and youth barnyard Olympics. Entertainment will feature attractions by AE Bounce House Rentals of Chambersburg, Pa.
For a full fair schedule, visit https://www.franklin countyfair.org/.