Concert series draws 7,000
July 7, 2011
FORT SILL, Okla. -- More than 7,000 country music fans braved triple digit temperatures to get to the 2011 Army Concert Tour Saturday featuring Miranda Lambert with special guests Merle Haggard and Stoney LaRue. The show was on the Fort Sill Polo Field and when the gates opened, the thermostat registered 108 degrees, but it didn't diminish the crowds' enthusiasm. Most attendees raced to get a good spot in front of the stage and then hit the concessions before the show started.
Angie Allsbury attended the concert and thought it was awesome. "We were able to get up close to the stage and had a great view of the performers," she said. "I loved it. It was the best country concert I've ever attended. I really wanted to see all three performers, but especially Merle Haggard. He's a legend, and he absolutely lived up to everything I've read and seen about him."
Allesbury said she thought Stoney LaRue was really good, too.
"I missed a little of his show, but overall it was amazing. And of course, Miranda was great. She was super energetic and put on an amazing performance. I can see why she won all the awards recently. She really gets the audience involved in her show."
Allesbury said the walk to the concert was a little bit on the long side from Conklin Field to the Polo Field, but she and her friends managed to catch a shuttle back to the parking area.
"The concessions at the concert were great. They had the biggest corn dog I've ever seen and the funnel cakes were delicious," she said. "I would definitely go to another concert on Fort Sill."
Angela Garcia said she went to the concert specifically to see Miranda Lambert. "I've seen her before and her concerts are always great. I love the show, and I think Miranda is the bomb! And, she's even married to an Okie. It doesn't get any better than this."
Brenda Spencer-Ragland, Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation director, said F&MWR;plans recreational events to cater to single and married Soldiers as well as the extended Army family who live in the immediate area. "During the long Fourth of July weekend, we plan a number of recreation events for our Soldiers and families, to give them quality of life and to keep them safe," she said. "When Soldiers and families have a long four-day weekend they often consider driving home or going to the local lake or nightclub for fun.
While Spencer-Ragland said any of these choices are good options for most Soldiers and their families to relax and celebrate the long weekend, she and her staff worked hard to put together a big summer concert to give them a safe stay-at-home alternative.
"Getting entertainers like Miranda Lambert, Merle Haggard and Stoney LaRue was huge, because people like to see quality entertainers," she said.
She added a team effort made the concert a reality.
"I can't say thanks enough for the countless hours the entire FMWR staff worked, and really that thanks goes out further to the entire Lawton-Fort Sill community, because so many people helped make this show the success it was," she said.
Spencer-Ragland also expressed her appreciation to area businesses in Southwest Oklahoma for their generosity in making the country music extravaganza a reality.
One business donated 1,000 100-minute calling cards for Basic Combat Training Soldiers. these cards were passed out to Soldiers who looked forward to talking to their families, sweethearts and friends.