POINT PLEASANT — The Mason County Fair offers plenty of activities for everyone, including a chance to make a “joyful noise” with three fair traditions — the Bo Rickard Youth In Gospel Music Sing, the Harry Rhodes Gospel Sing and the Gospel Showcase Spotlight
The sings take place Tuesday on the fair’s main stage with the Rickard event starting at 4 p.m., the Rhodes event at 5:30 p.m. and Showcase at 8 p.m. At 9 p.m., the nationally known contemporary Christian group Ball Brothers take the stage.
The Bo Rickard Youth Gospel Music Sing is held every year in memory of a special young man who never let his disabilities get in the way of his life. Rickard was known by many for his smile, gentle spirit and love of gospel music — all of which are celebrated in the annual sing which showcase young, local talent.
The schedule for the Rickard event is as follows: 3:50-open “Bo Rickard Award Presentation”; 4-4:10 Jackson Avenue Baptist Youth Choir; 4:10-4:14 Allee Duncan; 4:14-4:18 Kamille Bonecutter, Hannah Lewis, Sharla Moody; 4:18-4:22 Alex Shrader; 4:22-4:26 Annabelle Shrader; 4:26-4:30 The Waugh Sisters (Jonni Dawn, Maggie, Emmie); 4:30-4:34 Maddy Towner; 4:34-4:38 Kristin Durst; 4:38- 4:42 Kennedy Fisher, Isabella and Penelope Haught, McKenna Young; 4:42-4:46 Adeline Cottrell; 4:46-4:50 Maggie Waugh; 4:50-4:54 Caleb Grimm and Courtney Birchfield; 5:02-5:06 Emmie Waugh; 5:06-5:10 Olivia Boggess; 5:10-5:14 Chloe Lambert, Clairy Keefer; 5:14-5:18 Penelope Haught.
The late Harry Rhodes organized a gospel sing at the fair in the late 1960’s and in 1989, due to health reasons, passed the torch to Evelyn Roush. Roush said she was honored to be chosen by Rhodes to continue the tradition and promote it each year. The sing has had a faithful following and seen much talent cross and praise on the fair stage.
This year’s lineup for the Harry Rhodes Gospel Sing will feature The Blankenship Family, Covered By Love, The Taylor Brothers. Covered By Love features mom Rhonda Smith and her sons Cody and Ethan of South Webster, Ohio. The family group was named by Cody when he was eight years old. Cody grew up singing to soundtracks and can now do any harmony needed. Ethan now 12 joined his family singing at seven years old and also chimes in with harmonies, though it’s also not unusual to hear him share a testimony between songs.
The Taylor Brothers are from Charleston and have been singing together for 10 years. The group’s favorite songs are those found in the old hymnals which are still popular in some churches today. Reaching souls by their ministry is their goal which has taken them to five states. Logan Taylor attends the University of Charleston and Lewis Taylor just graduated from World Evangelism Bible College in Baton Rouge, La.
The Blankenship family consists of Eric Scott Blankenship, Kaitlyn Marie Blankenship and Joseph Anthony Lovejoy. The family say they have been blessed in so many ways with their ministry such as winning the 2004 Favorite Mixed Gospel Group by the Music City Gospel Showcase. Also, the family has been nominated by AMG Heritage Awards for the 2013 - Favorite Mixed Group, Song of the Year, and New Artist of the Year. Also, 2013 was great because they were blessed to sing with some of the very best in Gospel Music such as: The Bowling Family, Adam Crabb, The Perry Sisters, Mike Upright, and countless others.
The Gospel Showcase Spotlight, now in its fifth year, is an annual event that precedes the main featured gospel group every Tuesday evening at 8 p.m. at the fair. The purpose is to showcase or put the spotlight on local area singers that use their musical ability to bring glory and honor to the Lord our God, according to organizers. In 2010 Spotlight Showcase featured Youth in Gospel Music “Past, Present and Future” and in 2011 the focus was on Singing Preachers. Mason County’s Spotlight Showcase for the 2012 year directed its center of attention on female gospel artist and their diverse ministries and then the he 2013 showcased Male Christian Athletes. This year the spotlight will be on a family ministry with strong Mason County roots and feature The Click Family Band.
The Click Family Band, who reside in Clarksburg, consists of Jason and Linda Click and their three children, Anthony, Alexis, and Jaden. The Click Family Band performs a variety of Christian music styles, to include contemporary, praise and worship, southern gospel, and bluegrass-country.
Jason grew up in Mason County and was a member of the Point Pleasant High School band.