Jimmy Dean is a very important person around these parts, and to celebrate his 94th birthday they're going out with a bang.

Not only will country music legend than a concert featuring Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Billy Dean be there, but so much other fun stuff as well.

You might be thinking wow they have the same last name but no they are not related. Billy Dean, known for hits like "Billy the Kid" and "Somewhere in My Broken Heart," is scheduled to open the Jimmy Dean Music and Arts Festival with "An Evening with Billy Dean," a concert sponsored by Smith Auto Family. Floydada native Jason Nutt and Highway 70 open the show.

"While the Jimmy Dean Music and Arts Festival is not held on his birthday, it is a celebration of this hometown entertainer and entrepreneur’s legacy in country music and business," said Gary Vaughn, who serves as marketing director for the festival. "That's why we're taking things up a notch this year with chart-topping musical guests, an indoor venue for the arts and crafts festival and an opportunity to get creative with our newest attraction — Painting with a Twang."

While "An Evening with Billy Dean" kicks off the two-day festival on Sept. 16th, things really get going the following day with arts and crafts vendors, food trucks, more music and lots of fun for the whole family. Admission is free for most activities taking place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept.17th, inside Laney Activities Center on Wayland’s Plainview campus. Up to 50 arts and craft vendors are expected.

Painting with a Twang, the newest Jimmy Dean Music and Arts Festival attraction takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 17th.

Noel and Ben Haggard, sons of country music legend Merle Haggard, cap off the festival on Sept. 17th with a nostalgic tribute to their father. Merle Haggard, a contemporary of Jimmy Dean, had 38 No. 1 singles during his career. Local artist and businessman Steve Burris and the High Plains Drifters get the music started before the Merle Haggard Tribute.

"Our celebration will be like the man we remember — bigger than life," Vaughn said. "There is going to be something for everyone as we celebrate a man from Plainview who was instrumental in helping many musicians get started in the 50s and 60s."

The event takes place at Wayland Baptist University's Plainview campus. Advance tickets for the tribute show are $35 and are now on sale. Purchase tickets at JimmyDeanMuseum.com.


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