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Sanderson country singer to open for Colt Ford Thursday

Justin FreemanJustin Freeman of Sanderson is about to play one of the biggest shows of his young country music career in Gainesville.

Mr. Freeman, 30, preformed before to his largest audience at the Suwannee River Jam in 2011 opening for Blackberry Smoke, and also takes the stage at Jack Rabbits in Jacksonville’s San Marco neighborhood and the Country Club Lounge in Macclenny on occasion.

But on Thursday, October 18 at the Florida Theatre, the Baker County native will open for the Athens, GA-born country rapper Colt Ford. The show begins at 8 pm. Tickets are $25.

Mr. Freeman began his full-time music career in 2009 after a tumultuous period in his life. He lost his job as a graphic designer after eight years and went through a divorce.

“When everything was falling apart, or so it seemed, I was able to focus my attention on writing and producing,” said the budding singer-songwriter in an interview with The Press.

“It definitely helped me move on and get through one of the toughest times of my life. Music is the thing that can get people through any situation. I hope someone hears some of my songs and can relate and know they aren’t alone in their situation,” he said.

Mr. Freeman recalled one instance when a U.S. soldier approached him after a show about his song, “Since You’ve Been Gone.”

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Rain dampens fair attendance, pushes rodeo

Noah Carter tests his aim at the fair.The wet weather kept attendance down at the fairgrounds for most of the weekend, but fair association president Cathy Rhoden said most people ventured out on Saturday and late Friday night.

“It was a really great Saturday night,” she said. “Some people came after the rain on Friday, but nothing like they normally do.”

The rodeo was delayed until this weekend, Friday and Saturday at 8 pm, as a result of the weather.

‘Big boys-big toys’ converge at Glen for Shadetree fly-in

Jeff Howard has always loved remote-controlled toys. But at 49, the civil service worker and former Navy submariner has found only one Jeff Howard with his lighted model Citabria aircraft.that’s still exciting.

Mr. Howard was among some 40 enthusiasts flying scaled-down airplanes at the Shadetree Miniature Aircraft Association’s air show north of Glen St. Mary last weekend.

“I’ve had every high-dollar remote motor-controlled thing that has ever existed … ,” Mr. Howard explained the morning of September 28. “But this is the only thing — because if it goes up, it has to come down — that’s kept my interest and didn’t get boring.”

The association hosted the three-day event at the privately-owned 35-acre field, drawing pilots from as far away as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, some arriving with RVs and campers.

Billed as the International Miniature Aircraft Association’s District V Fly-in and Bud McMillan Memorial, the show featured motorized and remote-controlled replicas of real aircraft, some decked-out with strip lighting for night flying the evening of September 28.

One of Mr. Howard’s planes, a Citabria, which he pointed out was “airbatic” spelled backwards, has a 103-inch wing span and 35 cubic centimeter engine. It was adorned with multi-colored lights along the body, wings and tail, plus a trio of small flashlights mounted to the under-carriage that serve as landing lights.

The plane was also equipped with a small hatch on the underbelly that releases illuminated figurines hanging from parachutes.

“At night, they look like stars falling down,” said Mr. Howard of St. Mary’s, GA.

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Your guide to the busy fall events season

Fall is perhaps the busiest time of the year for most of us, not only because of the holidays that seem to arrive one after another following Labor Day, but also due to a number of popular events that occur locally like the county fair, homecoming festivities and the Christmas parade.

Add to the mix a few lower-profile community events, fundraisers, charity drives and church activities and you get a jam-packed fall calendar. So, in an effort to ensure Baker County residents don’t get lost in the avalanche of fall happenings this year, The Press has compiled a comprehensive guide to community events occurring from October through the end of the year, including ways to contribute to a host of good causes this season.

The Baker County Fair

The Baker County Fair will be October 4-13 at the fairgrounds, 5567 Lauramore Rd. in Macclenny. Armband and admission prices drop beginning October 7, and a two-for-one special will be October 9 only. See thisi week’s edition for a full list of midway specials.

The 2012 fair will feature “the largest midway ever assembled” at the fairgrounds, according to the fair’s website. For more information, please see this year’s fair book available at the fairgrounds, the Ag Center and other locations.

Baker County Sheriff’s Office Golf Tournament

The 16th Annual Baker County Sheriff’s Office Golf Tournament and Charles Miller Memorial will be October 5 at the Eagle Landing golf course in Oak Leaf Plantation. Entry fee is $75 per person or $300 per team. For more information, please call Lynn Taylor at 259-2231.

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