The Sedgwick County fairgrounds were once the stomping grounds for up-and-coming Nashville star Logan Mize.
The Clearwater native is making his return to Sedgwick County to headline this year’s Sedgwick County Fair on Thursday in Cheney.
“I’m just really looking forward to it,” Mize said of his homecoming. “It’s just cool to be able to come back and play for a fun audience.”
Mize has made a name for himself in Nashville, dropping two albums: 2009’s self-titled “Logan Mize” and 2012’s “Nobody in Nashville.” His singles “Used Up” and “Can’t Get Away from a Good Time” were both released earlier this year.
The move to Nashville was a good one, Mize said.
“I just love music, and I wanted to be in an environment where it was kind of built around the creative mind,” Mize said.
Growing up, he couldn’t wait to leave his hometown, Mize admitted.
“It took moving away … to gain an appreciation of the place,” he said. “Moving away, I came back, and I can’t believe I took the sunset for granted and going down a dirt road and not seeing another car for miles.”
Now Mize is eager to represent his Kansas roots. His “earthy” and “unpolished” sound has landed him gigs opening for Lady Antebellum, The Band Perry, Eric Church and Blake Shelton. His music represents the Midwest way of life, he said.
“There’s a little bit of Kansas in every song,” he said.
Mize is also representing Kansas in another way through a partnership with Travel Kansas and a station wagon named Glenn.
Earlier this year, Travel Kansas, the state’s tourism promoter, approached Mize to be the state’s travel ambassador. The Travel Kansas website lists Mize’s favorite spots to visit in Kansas – which he travels to via Glenn. No. 3 is the Sedgwick County Fair.
“I’m the unofficial official face of Kansas,” Mize said.
The Thursday performance on the fair’s grandstand will be the fair’s first major concert “in forever,” said Marti Johnson, a spokeswoman for the county fair.
Typically, local bands take the open-air stage, Johnson said. It’s been about 25 years, she said, since a Nashville star has graced the stage.
The fair is bringing out a “big, portable rock and roll stage” with a light and sound rig, something the fair is unaccustomed to, Johnson said.
Johnson said Mize’s performance should bring in the crowds.
“We love it that he’s local and that he’s doing so well in Nashville,” she said. “This is kind of a coming home for him. … This will give us a chance to try out our skills at staging a big concert.”
Mize said he’s eager to return to his former stomping grounds, and he’s planning to bring his 2-year-old son, Lincoln, with him.
“Take him out there and feed him full of corndogs and funnel cakes,” he said. “Just like any good parent should do, right?”