By Isaac Hamlet, GTNS News
For the first time in almost a decade, LeRoy Van Dyke will not be coming to the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion.
This was announced Wednesday, March 13, at Main Street Cinemas, where community members gathered to see the reveal of the entertainment lineup for this year’s festivities running Aug, 29 through Sept. 2.
“I wanna put the rumors to rest right now,” said Terry McWilliams, CEO of Old Threshers, during the event. “LeRoy Van Dyke is as healthy as the mules he has on his farm in Missouri.”
While McWilliams plans to be in touch with Van Dyke again in future years, this will mark the first time in eight straight years Van Dyke will have not performed at Old Threshers.
“LeRoy Van Dyke has had 16 years performing at Old Threshers, and just had an eight-year run,” McWilliams said. “So this was just a business decision. We just want to mix it up a little.”
And based on the gasps and giggles from the crowd accompanying the announcement of the Sunday performer, the crowd might not have minded either.
Season 10 American Idol winner Scotty McCreery will be performing at Midwest Old Threshers on Sunday, Sept. 1, at 8 p.m.
McCreery was the youngest male artist to debut an album at No.1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart and went Platinum. This will be his first year at Old Threshers.
Since his 2011 American Idol win, McCreery has released three other albums, one of which has also gone Platinum and two of which have gone Gold.
Other performers for the year will include Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent of Dailey and Vincent. This bluegrass group will take the KILJ stage the first night. The duo has been Grammy nominated three times and has three season of their own TV show “The Daily & Vincent Show on RFD-TV.”
Then, by popular demand, Old Threshers has arranged the all-men, all-vocal, a cappella country group, Home Free is set to perform on Aug. 30. This follows a year of absence following their 2017 Old Threshers debut. The group has seen fame after becoming popular through YouTube and has released four studio albums since 2013.
Saturday marks Joe Diffie’s arrival at the fair. The country singer of more than 30 years has 12 No. 1 hits across 13 albums which include songs like “Puckup Man” and “Third Rock from the Sun.”
As per usual, the five days at old Threshers also will include a myriad of other events such as antique tractors, chain-saw artists and local vendors.
The Chainsaw wood carvers from Bear Hollow will be performing shows daily throughout the event, sculpting works of art out of wood with a chain saw as their tool of choice.
Iowa Corn growers will have their Biofuels Mobile Museum featured daily as well, educating interested eventgoers about the power of corn.
Those who plan to snap pictures during the event also will have the opportunity to enter their photos into a photo contest this year. The deadline for photos is Aug. 1, but all photos are required to have been taken during Old Threshers.