A guide to this year’s South Shore Exhibition

by Kevin Mcbain

  • <p>CONTRIBUTED PHOTO</p><p>CCMA award-winner Aaron Goodvin will be the headlining act at this year&#8217;s South Shore Exhibition held July 23-28. Goodvin will be on the Big Ex Main Stage, July 27 at 9:00 p.m.</p>


Boom! Boom! Boom!

CCMA award winner Aaron Goodvin will headline this year's musical lineup at the 128th annual South Shore Exhibition July 23-28.

The 34-year-old singer from Spirit River, Alberta, is currently on his Bars and Churches tour that is taking him across Canada and the United States, is making a stop in Bridgewater on the Big Ex Main Entertainment Stage, July 27 at 9:00 p.m.

Goodvin's star is continuing to rise. His self-titled Warner Music Canada debut featured three top 10 singles including the smash hit, Lonely Drum. The track is the only Canadian single released in the past two years to be certified platinum. In both 2017 and 2018 he was nominated for CCMA awards and in 2018, he won his first, the Songwriter of the Year award for Lonely Drum.

His sophomore release, V, released earlier this year features the hit song, You Are, his first billboard number one single and the very popular, Bars and Churches.

"I'm pretty dang excited I would say. I love coming to the East Coast," he said in an interview from Edmonton, Alberta, July 18. "We don't get to do it enough and it's one of those things I'm always bugging, when are we going to the East Coast. I love how much you guys love music. I know the East Coast has embraced me more than most places, so I'm excited to come back."

Goodvin, who has been performing since the age of 12, says that it's been a good ride.

"It's crazy. This is the kind of career that I think anybody could hope for. I always had tunnel vision and focused on doing this for a living. When it happened, it was kind of, for me, finally I've gotten somewhere," he said.

"I kind of attribute all of that to working really hard at being the best singer, songwriter and performer that I can be. I've been very blessed to be where I'm at, but I've worked really hard to get here and I'm proud of myself for that."

Goodvin says that some of his early influences included Tracy Byrd, Clay Walker and George Strait and now he is a big fan of Eric Church and Ed Sheeran.

In terms of his song-writing, Goodvin said he's been called a "give-a-damn writer. I have a real hard time writing songs if I don't live it. If it didn't happen to me or someone, I know...I really have to care about it or I lose interest real fast, I just try to write songs that I love."

One of his favourites to date is Bars & Churches.

"I often say that this is the song I moved to Nashville to write. I've been there for almost 10 years and I think you only get a song like that once every 10 years," he said. "It's just an amazing topic and so eye-opening. I think when people hear it, most would think why would you put bar and church in the same song. Anyway, to find a way to write it, so you can see the similarities, it was pretty magical."

Also performing on the main stage will be The Traveling Milburys, a tribute band to the Traveling Wilburys that featured mega superstars George Harrison, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Bob Dylan.

They created two super albums in the the '80s and '90s and won a Grammy in 1989. The only thing they didn't do was travel. The band will feature the hits from the Traveling Wilburys along with some of the songs from each individual artist. They hit the stage July 26 at 9:00 p.m.

Kicking off the main stage acts on Thursday, July 25, will be the Bluegrass Unit at 9:00 p.m. followed by the East Coast Music award-winning country singer, Kevin Davison of Kentville.

Of course, this is not the only music happening at this year's exhibition. There is a full line-up of musicians on the variety stage inside the main building with concerts happening all afternoon until late into the evening.

Campbell Amusements will be back once again with their midway rides each day. You can purchase advance ride bracelets for $22 at the exhibition office until July 22 at 6:00 p.m. or at several other locations in the area.

Special events include toonie day on July 24, 26 and 28. Bracelets on other days will be $30.

Children's Day is set for July 24 with Baby Shark, the Black Panther and Nemo stopping by. There will be face painting, a whole lot of balloon twisting and performances from Razzmatazz and Donna and Andy.

Also, don't forget about the petting barn, and new this year, a KidZone has been created inside the main building, where they can participate in a colouring contest, do some rock painting, play some board games and play with some mega blocks as well.

This year's parade will take place July 23 starting at 6:00 p.m. from the Nova Scotia Community College, across High Street, down Empire to York Street, across York Street to Dufferin, up Dufferin Street to the Exhibition grounds.

For more information check out their website at: thebigex.com

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