The Kovar Brothers will once again provide those who attend the Butler County Fair with a blast from the past when it kicks off next week.
Mick Kovar to this day still fondly remembers the hundreds of hours he spent in Renee Sound Studio in David City decades ago. The studio was started in the 1960s by late David City businessman Bud Comte, a talented musician himself who opened up shop in his garage before moving the studio to a Fourth Street location. Throughout the years, the studio released hundreds of records.
“I spent many hours there until 3 or 4 in the morning singing backup harmonies,” said Kovar, who married Comte’s daughter who inspired the studio’s name. “That was a big recording studio in David City. Musicians from all over the country came through. Growing up, this area was really known for having a lot of good musicians.”
Kovar is no stranger to success in music. He and his brother, Tim (who still lives in David City), had quite a run performing 1990s country and some classic rock throughout many years that resulted in them not long ago being inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall Of Fame. He and his brother also had success performing with their parents at various family events.
Today, Kovar co-hosts a popular talk radio program on Lincoln's KFOR. But, he and his brother are coming back to the local fair yet again for another outdoor show from 8-11 p.m. July 18 on the patio. People can expect to hear that signature full-band sound from the brothers, who have been playing together for more than 45 years, collectively.
“We’ve always loved the Butler County Fair,” he said. “That’s where we’re from: David City. So the opportunity to play at the Butler County Fair is a big deal for us ... It's hometown, plus it's fun to play ..."
The Kovar Brothers have done some shows here and there during the last year, but Mick Kovar said it has been nothing major. Kovar added they were happy to be invited back to the Butler County Fair after what he called a successful show last year.
"It was great. They had a big crowd," he recalled. "We has a blast. It was a lot of fun seeing people we knew and meeting some new folks."
The Kovar Brothers are just one of several talented musical groups that will perform over the course of fair week. Fellow local act Route 66 Band will perform on the same patio from 6-9 p.m. Sunday.
"We just like to keep things local," Butler County Ag Society Board Treasurer Mandi Topil said. "We like to promote local businesses and give them a chance to show at the fair."
But fair organizers also brought in some new acts from outside Butler County. Starting at 9 p.m. Friday and lasting until about 1 a.m. Saturday, Omaha-based band The Fools will perform on the patio. Known for their signature 1980s rock sound, the band prides itself on bringing a "great party" to the stage, according to some of its online promotions for the gig in David City.
"We are really excited to have them," Topil said. "They’re new to us"
There is a $5 admission cover, though it's free with a grandstand ticket.
Then there's area band SideStep, based out of the Columbus/Norfolk areas. The six-piece band known for its country and rock performances will jam about 7 p.m. Saturday on the patio as part of their return to the local fair.
As for the Kovar Brothers, they have a variety of country and rock songs planned.
"It's 1990s country and rock music that we grew up on,” Kovar said, noting the duo is always updating its library of songs. “We try to play what everybody wants to hear. We play for the audience, but we also play for ourselves. Anybody who loves country music from the early 1990s, what made country music country, that’s what we play.”
He added he hopes people will come check out their show.
"If you missed last year, (you) missed a good party," he said. "You can be part of it this year and enjoy the fair atmosphere."
It's not just about the music, though.
One of the biggest draws of this year’s event is the return of D.C. Lynch Shows, which will be handling the carnival yet again. The company, which has made stops throughout various Nebraska communities, will feature many of the popular rides people have grown to love, such as its beautiful Ferris wheel.
The carnival officially kicks off at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 18 and runs through Sunday, July 21. Wristbands for the carnival can be purchased for $25.
Another highlight is the CS Promotions Demo Derby starting at 7 p.m. Friday (grandstand admission is $10 per adult, $5 for children ages 6-12 and free to those 5 and younger).
There will also be wood carving by TJ Jenkins Thursday-Saturday.
Saturday and Sunday, the final two days of the fair, promise plenty of activity.
Saturday's many events include sand volleyball (10 a.m.), a petting zoo and pony rides (10 a.m.), a NASCAR simulator (1 p.m.), the Antique Road Show (2-4 p.m. in the Hein Building), a genealogy presentation (4-5 p.m. in the Hein Building), Colors Da Clown Face Painting (4-7 p.m.) and Cow Pie Bingo by the Chamber Ambassadors (6 p.m.). all before the Outlaw Tractor Pulls. The latter commence at 7 p.m. with admission running $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6-12 and those up to age 5 getting in for free.
Sunday will prove to be quite the grand finale. There will, of course, be the popular Car Show & Shine from noon to 4 p.m, with awards being handed out at approximately 3:30 p.m. But attendees will also have the chance to check out the new Craft Show from 10 am.-3 p.m.
The fair will finish up in style with the parade starting at 5 p.m. and then Butler County Cuisine Night from 6-8 p.m. It will feature Eagles Nest Wings, Northside Cafe and El Centenario.
"There is something for everybody," Topil said. "We're trying to add new things ever year. Hopefully, it’s a good mix for everybody."
Matt Lindberg is the managing editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.