Art & Culture

James Wesley at Bolado Park Thursday night

"Thank a Farmer" singer performing during opening night of the San Benito County Fair

The San Benito County Fair kicks off Thursday and features an evening performance by country singer, James Wesley. The performer from Mound Valley in Southeastern Kansas likes tradition and has learned from some of the classic like Marty Robbins, George Jones and Ray Price.

"Thank a Farmer" is the theme of his down-home based show. “A lot of the old ways are the best ways: family, God, treating people right, doing what you’re supposed to do," Wesley says in a provided biography. "I think it’s time to come back to what’s real. That’s what country music is about."

The bio continues: ”James Wesley puts those core values into his music with a whiskey-smooth voice and a timelessly winning way with a great country song. Wesley sings directly to real people about real things that profoundly affect real lives—and from his small-town upbringing to his blue-collar work ethic, he has a deep understanding of what those folks are longing to hear.”

Wesley says, “I know there’s more people out there than just me who want to hear something that grabs you and makes you go, ‘Wow, that’s me—that’s how I feel, that’s my day, that’s my family,’” he says. “When you swing a hammer every day, when you’re out there doing what you have to do, you learn a lot of compassion for the people that do it day in and day out.”

James Wesley’s website states that he hopes to do what he loves to do for a long time to come. “I want to be in it for the long haul,” he says. “I want to sing those songs that everyone wants to hear, and that everyone can relate to. I want to be the guy who tells the stories, and tells it like it is.”

The concert starts at 8 p.m. and is free with fair admission.

San Benito County Fair Schedule

Thursday – Sept. 29

9:00 a.m. Kids' Day Starts
10:00 a.m. Fair Opens, Chamber Ribbon Cutting
10:30 a.m. All Creatures Barnyard Races Porker Downs
Noon Carnival Opens/Cisco Jim & El Dorado Roving
1:30 p.m. All Creatures Barnyard Races Porker Downs
2:00 p.m. Twinkle Time Patio Stage
3:30 p.m.All Creatures Barnyard Races Porker Downs
4:00 p.m. Twinkle Time Patio Stage
5:30 p.m. All Creatures Barnyard Races Porker Downs
5:30-8:30 p.m.Ryann Scripps Variety Stage
6:00 p.m. Twinkle Time Patio Stage
6:30 p.m. Michael Mezmer Theater of Mind Patio Stage
7:30 p.m. All Creatures Barnyard Races Porker Downs
7:30-8:30 p.m. James Wesley Concert (free with admission) Main Stage
8:00pm Michael Mezmer Hypnosis
10:00 p.m.County Fair Closes

Saturday — Oct. 1 (Military Appreciation Day)
10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Free admission with military I.D.
Junior Livestock Auction — 9 a.m.
Truck Pulls — 4 p.m. (tickets available at the gate)

Sunday — Oct. 2 (Community Cultural Day)
10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Ag/Hort Produce Auction — 4 p.m.

Carnival Hours:

Thursday: Noon-10 p.m.
Friday: Noon-10 p.m.
Saturday: Noon-10 p.m.
Sunday: Noon-7 p.m.



Leslie David

Leslie David is a Bay Area independent reporter/producer and is a BenitoLink founding board member. She has produced for radio, television, newspaper and magazines in both California and Wyoming. She was with KRON-TV News in San Francisco as camera-woman, editor and field producer, where she won the Commonwealth Club's Thomas Storke Award with Linda Yee for their series on the Aids Epidemic. She started as a small market news reporter shooting her own 16mm film at KEYT-TV Santa Barbara. Leslie lives on a ranch with her family in San Benito County.