Arts & Entertainment

Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo fun gets under way Aug. 20

Rocker Bret Michaels has come a long way from his glam man look of the 1980s.

His blond locks are still long, he continues to wear the eyeliner he made famous as Poison's front man, and he can still rock the house with his music, though he does it more as a solo act these days.

And ever since he became a reality TV star, winning Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice, he's won the hearts of millions of new fans. He's also shown the world he's a thoughtful and caring father to his daughters.

Michaels is one of the headline acts for this year's Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo, which opens Aug. 23 in Kennewick. His show is at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 24 on the main stage.

Joan Jett and the Blackhearts rule the main stage Aug. 23, with country icon Kenny Rogers performing Aug. 25. Rockers The Blue Oyster Cult perform Aug. 26 and country crooner Lee Brice wraps up the fair Aug. 27.

All concerts start at 7:30 p.m. and are included with fair admission. Reserved seats for main stage entertainment are an additional $15.

Something new at the fair this year will be the Texaco Country Showdown, one of the largest country music talent search organizations in the country.

There are 20 Tri-City music hopefuls competing at the showdown for a chance to advance to the state finals next month.

The event is brought to town by 94.9 FM The Wolf, a Tri-City country music station.

"We held three tryouts at the Kennewick Jack-sons," said Brook Reiland with the station. "Each semi-finalist will sing again on the Atomic City Stage at the fair on Aug. 27 from 1 to 4 p.m.

"The winner from that day will have the opportunity to open up for the chart-topping country artist Lee Brice. That person also advances to the Washington State finals in Aberdeen on Sept. 25."

Rodeo Run, grand parade

The Rodeo Run and grand parade will kick things off Aug. 20. The run starts at 8 a.m. and the parade starts at 10 a.m., winding through downtown Kennewick from First Avenue to Dayton Street, looping down to Fruitland Street then to Kennewick Avenue and turning south onto Auburn Street.

Demo derby

The demolition derby is Aug. 22 in the rodeo arena at the fairgrounds. Time trials start at 6:30 p.m., racing at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $15.

Roller derby

The Atomic City Rollergirls will duke it out Aug. 23 on the Rodeo Arena course with the Rodeo City Rollergirls and Dockyard Fiana. Showtime is 6:30 p.m. If you purchased fair tickets, you can view the competition for free.

Horse Heaven Round-Up

Rodeo action is Aug. 24-27 in the rodeo arena at the fair. Showtime is 7 p.m. each night and comes with admission to the fair. Reserved seats are an additional $10.


The Davis Carnival will be open from noon to 11 p.m. Aug. 23-25 and from noon to midnight Aug. 26-27.

There will also be plenty of food and fun for the whole family. For a complete schedule of events go to

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;