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Summer in the Sticks spooling up

By Kay S. Pedrotti Country music’s Ty Bates headlines the ‘Summer in the Sticks’ concert Saturday at 6 p.m. at Ritz Park, sponsored by the Barnesville-Lamar County chamber of commerce. Bates is a rising star in country music, named ‘Georgia Country Artist of the Year’ in 2011. His inspiration to sing country music was Alan Jackson, whom he heard play in Atlanta in 1989. Now based in Nashville, Bates regularly is spotlighted at the famed Bluebird Cafe. He has opened for such noted performers as Blake Shelton, Reba McIntire, Gary Alan and more. He is on his ‘Honky-Tonkin’ University Tour’ this year, trying to play in every college town and honky-tonk possible. Other Ritz Park entertainers include Gasoline Brothers, Biscuit and Kenley Tyler. Chamber president Emily Rowland says vendors of food and other items such as jewelry and tee shirts will be at the concert. She also promises ‘better beverages.’ The cowgirl contest winner or winners will receive free entry, worth $50, in the ‘Miss Buggy Days’ pageant, Rowland said. The event is open to all ages and could have several winners depending on age competitions. Contestants attired as cowgirls receive half-price entry to Ritz Park, she added. The contest will be judged by dress — no inappropriate attire — and audience applause. ’Bring your own cheering section,’ Rowland encourages. Carlton Maynard’s G&M Enterprise is giving away concert tickets and a 12-gauge shotgun. Call G&M for details. Bring lawn chairs and ID; no coolers or pets are allowed, Rowland added. Tickets are $10 at the chamber office on Commerce Place between Swatts and Library Streets in downtown Barnesville or at the door. Call the chamber at 770-358-5884 for information.

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