Country music festival to take place next weekend in Pulaski County Shrine Club Park

Billy James Clayton is on a mission to bring concerts to Pulaski County — and next weekend his dream of hosting an outdoor music festival will come to life with the first-ever Hicks in the Sticks event.

“We shouldn't have to drive out of town to go to good concerts,” Clayton said. “So I'm bringing concerts here, starting with this one.”

From Sept. 5- Sept. 6, festival-goers will fill the Pulaski County Shrine Club Park for a weekend of country music, comedy, chicken wings, camping,“redneck games,” bike shows and more for the first-ever Hicks in the Sticks.

Gates open at noon Friday for campers. Vendors will fill the park for the weekend with good, old-fashioned  entertainment and festivities. On Friday night, a bonfire will ignite the fun, coupled with entertainment from DJ Craig Maxey, a comedy show and live karaoke. Admission is free Friday night.

A smorgasbord of backyard activities is planned for Saturday including an actual “Redneck wedding” as Clayton calls it, a chicken wing cook-off, a toilet-seat toss, and bobbin' for pigs feet. Jeep and bike shows will also take place throughout the day.

Starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, Waynesville's own ChristiAna Ball will kick off the music for the evening . Ball, a Fort Leonard Wood drill sergeant who won Army Entertainment's Operation Rising Star in 2013, will be the only local act of the show.

“We're lucky to get ChristiAna perform,” Clayton said. “She just finished making her demo in Nashville,” Clayton said. “She could go anyway but, she is going to sing country.”

Country music band Southern Edge, of West Plains, Mo., and Special 20, of Sullivan will rock the stage following Ball.

The Lacs, a country-rap duo from Georgia, will headline the event Saturday night. The Lacs performed at the Dead Rabbit Saloon in 2013 and have a large national following.

“There is something for everyone at this festival,” Clayton said. “My goal is to have the whole community to come and support what we have put together.”

Tickets to the festival are available at