Big Time Grain Company To Headline Firemen’s Fall Fest

Big Time Grain Company was previously in Marshall County in 2021 opening for The Beach Boys at Alcove Spring Historic Park.

This time, they are headlining the tenth annual Firemen’s Fall Fest Saturday, October 8, on the square in downtown Blue Rapids.

The event is sponsored by the Blue Rapids Fire Department and the Marshall County Arts Cooperative. Proceeds go toward the 4th of July fireworks display in Blue Rapids.

The event starts at 4 p.m. with a beer garden followed by a fish fry at 5 p.m. The meal includes catfish, homemade baked beans, potato salad, potato chips and tea. A freewill donation will be taken for the fish fry. The community center will be open for those wanting to eat indoors.

Since the event’s inception, live music has been an integral part of the festivities. This year, KJ Bowers will play from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Big Time Grain Company will play country western and country rock from 8:30 p.m. until 11:30 p.m.

Because of Big Time Grain Company’s high-energy performance at last summer’s Alcove Spring concert, members of the fire department suggested booking the band to headline this year’s tenth annual festival.

“The concert at Alcove Spring was incredible,” said Chad Bourquin, one of the band’s founders. “We were overwhelmed by the crowd that came out – they were so responsive to our music. We felt it.”

The band enjoyed getting to open for such an iconic band. An added bonus was getting to hang out with The Beach Boys backstage.

“Those guys have seen it all and they are so down to earth,” Bourquin said. “They are still doing what they love and are happy about it.”

Bourquin said they will provide another high-energy show this year.

“We’re having so much fun playing this line-up we have,” he said. “This one is above and beyond what we’ve experienced.”

Since their last performance in Marshall County, Bourquin said they’ve traveled farther than usual. They’ve been to Montana, Iowa, Missouri and Oklahoma. They’re looking forward to coming back, though.

“We love Marshall County,” he said. “We’ve had such great times. The people are so great.”

Band members include Bourquin playing lead guitar; his brother, Bret Bourquin, singing lead vocals; Colin Ridge on guitar; Aaron Davis on acoustic guitar and ganjo – a banjo that is tuned like a guitar; and Troy Schuster on drums.

KJ Bowers, Belleville, Kan., will open for Big Time Grain Company.

His interest in music started at the age of eleven when he would sneak into his brother’s room to play his guitar. For his birthday, his parents gave him an electric guitar.

“Shoo Fly, Don’t Bother Me” was the first song he performed in public at the local county fair. Ever since, he has been working on his craft.

In high school, Bowers wanted to start a band, but none of his friends wanted to play rock music.

Instead, he retreated to the high school’s old locker room to work on scales and songs. He took voice lessons, too.

In 2013, he started performing professionally as a solo artist and as a member of the band, The Revenues.

For this show, Bowers said the audience can expect “good music.” His acoustic set will include hits from the 1970s through the 2000s.

“I am playing something for every age demographic,” he said.

In addition to the live music and food, bounce houses will be in front of the Blue Rapids Public Library, 14 Public Square. The bounce houses are sponsored by the Blue Rapids Community Action Team.

Those attending are encouraged to bring blankets and lawn chairs.

For more information people may call 785-859-4260.

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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