Dance Lessons and Country Rock Concert to Kick Off Big Blue River Days

Big Blue River Days will kick off with country swing dance and line dance lessons taught by members of the Prairie Country Dance Club, Seneca. The lessons begin at 6 p.m. Thursday in downtown Marysville.

“There is no need to sign up or register, just show up with a good pair of dancing shoes,” said Tracy Schmitz, one of the instructors. “A partner is recommended, but not required.”

The free lessons are being held right before the Big Time Grain Company’s concert at 7 p.m.

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The lessons and concert are sponsored by the Marshall County Arts Cooperative.

Bret Bourquin, one of the founders of the band, says people can expect a high-energy, fun concert.

“We’re pretty honest about who we are and what we do,” he said. “Most of all we really want to connect with people. We love to talk to people before and after the show. We get to play music and that’s the fun part, but we love to make friends, too.”

Bret’s brother, Chad, is another founding member of the band.

“One of the best compliments we get is when people tell us they feel better after leaving a Big Time Grain Company show,” Chad said. “That’s valuable to be a part of that.”

The brothers grew up on a farm near Colby, Kan.

Bret’s grandfather taught him to play a song when he was ten years old, and that’s when he got into country music listening to performers like George Strait and Waylon Jennings.

In high school the brothers went through a rock phase, but they eventually came back to country music.

“That’s where my heart was in the very beginning,” Bret said.

The band will plays songs from different decades picking stuff that was “pretty cool” at that time. They will also sing songs from their album “401K.”

They are about to release a new song, “Sunday Morning.”

“We’ve got a full summer,” Chad said. “We’re performing a lot of places and we’re booking our Christmas tour.”

The dance lessons and concert kick off Big Blue River Days May 30, 31, and June 1. Other activities include a poker run, Friday Night Cruisin’, Kansas City Barbeque Society Big Blue BBQ championship, Marysville AutoFest, Kids Zone, beer mile, and cornhole tournament. More information about the weekend’s activities may be found at

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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