Celebrating heritage with music

King Band to perform at Clay County Fair in Spencer

-Submitted photo The Fort Dodge Municipal Band is pictured in 1928. The band played at the fair in Spencer that year and is pictured in front of the band’s tent camp with the cook. Conductor Karl L. King is in the center of the photo, between the two sousaphone players.

The nationally-known Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge will be part of the 100th anniversary celebration of the Clay County Fair on Sunday in Spencer.

Karl L. King and the Fort Dodge Municipal Band were regular fixtures at that fair each year, beginning in 1922 and continuing to the close of the 1959 season. The King Band last appeared at the fair in Spencer for the 75th anniversary in 1992.

The King Band will be performing in the grandstand during the evening, beginning with a pre-concert at 6:30 p.m. before the main celebration starts at 7 p.m.

The evening program will include a human cannonball, a high wire/unicycle act, and a juggler. There will also be two vocalists performing.

The festivities will close with a fireworks display around 9 p.m, highlighted by patriotic music from the King Band.

The Karl King Band’s program will include music to celebrate the 100-year history of “The World’s Greatest County Fair.”

A wide variety of selections will be performed by the band, including former King Band Conductor Reginald R. Schive’s “The Spencer Fair March,” which premiered at the fair’s 75th anniversary.

Other songs include a “Salute to Bob Hope,” who performed in the grandstand in 1975, and “Red’s White and Blue March” composed by “Red” Skelton, who performed in the grandstand in 1976. Also to salute the first year of the fair’s organization will be a medley of songs popular at the start of World War I, titled “Over There.”

A patriotic closing is planned to include “God Bless the U.S.A.,” composed by Lee Greenwood, who performed in the grandstand in 1983 and again in 1992.

The King Band will accompany a chorus of nearly 200 students from area high schools closing the evening with “America, the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.”

Conductor of the Karl King Band is Jerrold P. Jimmerson.

There is a $5 gate admission that day, and general admission tickets are available for the grandstand show for $15 each, with children 12 and under admitted free.

Tickets can be ordered either online at www.claycountyfair.com, or by calling (712) 580-3000.