Festival goers will be kicking off their Rockin’ River weekend with former American Idol contestant

Merritt and Kamloops holding festival open houses June 23 and 24

Before the Merritt Rockin’ River Fest gets into full swing, American country singer Josh Gracin will headline the festival’s Kick Off Party on July 28th. The country star placed fourth on the second season of American Idol and went on to release his self-titled debut album that was certified gold shortly thereafter.

Gracin was recognized by the most awarded country group of the past 10 years, Rascal Flatts, after Gracin covered one of their songs on American Idol. Rascal Flatts’ bass player reached out to him and Gracin was able to transform from reality show finalist to country star. He will be performing on the main stage on Thursday, July 28th to kick off the Merritt Rockin’ River fest in a big way.

“Adding Josh to our roster was a must. He is a terrific entertainer with a very high-energy show that will start the weekend off right. He has had several hits including the number one smash Nothin’ to Lose,” said Merritt Rockin’ River Fest president and founder Kenny Hess.

To get the party fever and festival buzz started early, the Rockin’ River Fest crew have organized two Open House events. On Thursday, June 23, Merritt and anybody else who would want to attend, is invited to the first festival open house where people can ask questions, look over the festival site map, buy tickets for the event, enter a ticket draw or just hang-out with some fun-loving staff.

“We wanted to organize these community events to show our gratitude to Merritt, its businesses and residents as well as businesses and residents from nearby communities. Locals are an important part of the festival’s success and we hope these events will solidify that message as well as create continued goodwill and long-term relationships for the years to come,” said Hess, a country music hall of fame member and multi-award winning performer who will be joined by his trio for an evening performance in Merritt Rotary Park on June 23.

On Friday, June 24, the party will be on the road to Kamloops where an Open House will be held at Cascades Casino’s MATCH Eatery & Public House where Hess will once again be front and centre and ready to entertain in a command performance on the patio’s stage.

Merritt location and time:

Canadian Country Hall of Fame – 2025 Quilchena Ave, Merritt, BC from 4:00pm – 5:00pm.

Kenny Hess’ performance in park: 1990 Maxwell Ave, Merritt, BC from 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Kamloops location and time:

Cascades Casino, MATCH Eatery & Public House, 1555 Versatile Drive from 4:00pm – 5:30 pm

Media who have not already signed up for their accreditation can do so now. Visit https://rockinriverfest.com/media-opportunities/ to fill out the form.

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