Renowned AZ Entertainers Headline Best Fest Mainstage

Posted on by az100

Written by  Cynthia Dunne

Wednesday, 17 August 2011 20:10

FREE EVENT for the Whole Family Celebrates Arizona’s Centennial Major Stars Step Out at ‘Arizona Best Fest’ in Prescott…Leading Revelry over Arizona’s 100 Years

Wayne Newton, Jordin Sparks, Nils Lofgren, Jerry Riopelle, The Tubes…Plus a ‘Salute to Arizona’ Lights up Mainstage Schedule

Prescott, Ariz. (Aug. 16, 2011) – Big name Arizona-linked entertainers take the Mainstage at Arizona Best Fest in Prescott, Sept. 16-18, headlining a three-day Arizona showcase of history, food, culture, science, the future and much more in historic downtown Prescott.

This historical Arizona Centennial Signature event now boasts a Mainstage lineup featuring Fri., Sept. 16, virtuoso rock guitarist Nils Lofgren, and rock ‘n roll veterans The Tubes; Sat., Sept. 17, American Idol-turned-superstar songstress Jordin Sparks and the ever popular rhythmic rock/blues artist Jerry Riopelle; and Sun., Sept. 18, world renowned Arizona native now known as ‘Mr. Las Vegas’ himself, Wayne Newton. (Specific show times TBA)

In addition, a historical musical retrospective aptly titled Salute to Arizona is set for Sat., Sept. 17, as well, preceding Ms. Sparks on the Mainstage, and accompanied by a festive fireworks display. Plus Arizona’s Official State Historian Marshall Trimble and Arizona’s Official State Balladeer Dolan Ellis also will have stints on the Mainstage.

“The Prescott Best Fest – Mainstage is an exciting tribute to Arizona’s Centennial,” said Arizona Centennial Commission Deputy Director Mandi Wimmer.

“With such a vast array of Arizona cultural and history to take in as well as the fun and interactive experiences we’re delivering through Best Fest in Prescott, highlighting Arizona based Mainstage headliners is the perfect icing on the Centennial birthday cake! We’re delighted and honored to have each of them take the stage.”

Added Wimmer: “By virtue of their global success and accomplishment, they deliver a boost to this huge celebration of Arizona’s 100 Years. We’re simply proud of every one of them and thrilled to showcase their fabulous talent.”

Parking & Shuttle Buses. For convenience, shuttle buses are scheduled for easy access to historic downtown Prescott and available at Rodeo Village and The Frontier Village throughout Best Fest in Prescott. Event hours are Fri., 5-10pm; Sat. 10am-10pm; and Sun., 11am – 6pm.

Arizona Best Fest Series leads an active calendar of Arizona Centennial Signature Events and Projects. The “best of” celebratory series moves to Tucson and later to Phoenix as it makes its three-city tour to Arizona’s three territorial capitals. The Best of Arizona showcase celebrates Arizona’s 100 Years, and comprises interactive historic pavilions; cultural villages, a western town, seven stages of entertainment, Arizona artists, food, wine, craft beer and much more. Best Fest in Prescott is especially anticipated since it was the first Arizona Territorial Capital, it is first in the event series and encompasses the beautiful Prescott Courthouse Square in the city’s historic downtown.

United States Postal Service Arizona Centennial Commemorative Stamp Unveiling. Another highlight of the three days of festivities, anticipated to attract visitors throughout Arizona, is the unveiling of the USPS Arizona Centennial commemorative stamp at Prescott’s Courthouse Square Fri., Sept. 16, 4pm.

Best Fest Featured Elements. Arizona Best Fest featured pavilions, villages and more include, but are not limited to:
· Renewable Energy Pavilion by APS;
· Natural Resources Pavilion presented by Resolution Copper;
· Science and the Future Pavilion presented by University of Arizona;
· Western Town presented by Discount Tire;
· Native American Village presented by Giant;
· Family Fun Zone presented by Shamrock Farms;
· Sports Zone presented by Arizona Cardinals;
· Hispanic Village;
· Military History Pavilion;
· Arizona History pavilion;
· Arizona Wine Garden presented by Arizona Wine Growers Association
· Beer Garden presented by Budweiser
· Best of AZ Art Show presented by Mountain Artists Guild and the Prescott Council on the Arts & Humanities

For all the latest information, including the entertainment schedule at Arizona Best Fest in Prescott, visit or the Prescott Daily Courier’s dedicated online website for Best Fest

About Arizona Centennial Commission. The Arizona Centennial Commission, through its nonprofit Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation, is the statewide board charged by Governor Jan Brewer with planning and implementing Arizona’s 100th anniversary of statehood. In collaboration with the Arizona Historical Advisory Commission, more than 209 projects and events are sanctioned and planned to-date to commemorate Arizona’s Centennial. For information on the Arizona Centennial, visit

About Nils Lofgren. Scottsdale resident Nils Hilmer Lofgren is an American rock music singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Along with his work as a solo artist, he has marked 25 years as a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band as well as a former member of Crazy Horse and Grin. He also worked with Neil Young meeting him at 17 and ultimately playing on the album After the Gold Rush. In 1984, he joined Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band as the replacement for Steven Van Zandt on guitar and vocals, in time for Springsteen’s massive Born in the U.S.A. Tour. Following the tour he appeared on Late Night with David Letterman, to promote his 1985 solo release Flip. The E Street Band toured again with Springsteen in 1988 on the Tunnel of Love Express. In 1989 Springsteen broke up the E Street Band, but Lofgren and Van Zandt rejoined when Springsteen revived the band in 1999 for their Reunion Tour, followed by The Rising and ther massive tours through 2009. Lofgren continues to record and tour as a solo act. (Photo by Leahtwosaints.)

About The Tubes. The Tubes started as a group of high school friends from Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. Two Phoenix bands, the Beans and The Red, White and Blues Band, both relocated to San Francisco in 1969 and eventually merged. The new band’s core membership remained largely intact for more than a decade: Fee Waybill (real name John Waldo Waybill) (vocals), Bill “Sputnik” Spooner (guitar, vocals), Roger Steen (guitar), Prairie Prince (real name Charles L. Prince) (drums), Michael Cotten (synthesizer), Vince Welnick (piano), and Rick Anderson (bass). Singer Re Styles (born Shirley Marie MacLeod) (vocals) and ex-Santana percussionist Mingo Lewis were also fixtures for much of the band’s early history. David Medd, musician and lifelong Tubes fan, has been a member of the group since 1996. (Photo by Helge Øverås)

About Jordin Sparks. Arizona native Jordin Sparks at 17, was the youngest ever winner of American Idol, an experience she descibes as the best music career training ground ever. In the three years that followed she’s had several chart-topping albums and singles, and has starred on Broadway, appeared at the White House for Presidents Obama and Bush, and was chosen for a GOT MILK? Ad. She’s also won two BET Awards and one American Music Award. Humanitarian causes such as Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and ‘Thumbs Up to X the TXT’ keep her busy. She is perhaps Arizona’s newest global superstar.

About Jerry Riopelle. There’s no problem identifying Jerry Riopelle’s distinctive brand of hard driving roots rock. Riopelle’s music reflects a genuine lyrical honesty with heavy doses of rhythm and blues, rock and country with a unique mix of jazz and reggae. He began his musical career by learning the ropes of independent record production in the ‘60s. After playing drums for the Hollywood Argyles he signed as a staff writer for Screen Gems. Upon hearing one of his singles produced with Clydie King entitled “The Thrill is Gone,” Phil Spector hired him as a staff writer and producer for Philles Records. Jerry soon produced Top 20 hit “Home of the Brave” (recorded by Bonnie & The Treasures). The hits continued and, Riopelle has been a hot ticket, especially in Arizona ever since

About Wayne Newton.
Singer, musician, actor, superstar entertainer, today the Arizona native is known as Mr. Las Vegas. Discovered in his junior year in Phoenix, a Las Vegas agent saw his TV show and invited Wayne and his brother Jerry to Las Vegas to audition. With $20 between them, the ‘tryout’ lasted 46 weeks at the Fremont Hotel & Casino. To save his voice, he learned 13 instruments, many worked into his show. Jackie Gleason heard him perform in Phoenix, and “The Great One” was the first of many mentors: Lucille Ball, Danny Thomas, George Burns and Jack Benny. Bobby Darin produced his first record hits, “Heart,” “Danke Schoen,” “Red Roses For A Blue Lady,” “Summer Wind” and “Dreams Of The Everyday Housewife.” He scored a multi-gold album and single on “Daddy, Don’t You Walk So Fast” and several hits followed. But it was Jack Benny he credits with his sustained success when Las Vegas lounge singers didn’t play Vegas’ main showrooms. Wayne refused big lounge paydays to instead work for Mr. Benny as opening act for five years. He finally headlined his own main showroom in a November, a show typically slow for visitors to Las Vegas. But it was Las Vegas residents who came and he’s broken attendance records ever since. Mr. Newton dedicates much of his time to giving back through USO tours abroad and more.

About Salute to Arizona.
This original 30-minute Prescott Best Fest – Mainstage musical extravaganza beckons Arizonans and fans of Arizona to take a seat, take a look, even sing along and enjoy the show. Be treated to a star-spangled tribute to Arizona featuring local Prescott entertainers and much more. Listen and learn about the past, savor the present. Envision the future. Celebrate!

About Marshall Trimble.
Named Arizona Official State Historian in 1997, this multi-talented historian has been called the “Will Rogers of Arizona.” He delivers anything from a serious history lecture to a stage concert of Western folk music and stories with his guitar. Trimble appears frequently on radio and television as a goodwill ambassador for the state. He’s written more than 20 books. For several years “Trimble’s Tales” were heard on radio stations around the state. He answers questions about the Old West from readers all over the world in True West Magazine’s popular column, “Ask the Marshall.” Trimble has received several honors both as a historian, writer and performer including Lifetime Achievement award by the Arizona Office of Tourism and by the Wild West History Association. This year he was inducted into Arizona’s Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame.

About Dolan Ellis. After 42 years as Arizona’s Official State Balladeer, Dolan Ellis still hangs his professional hat on the title that first came to him in February 1966, by Gov. Sam Goddard. Awrads includes a Grammy, gold records, and entry into the Arizona Tourism Hall of Fame. Senator John McCain read Dolan and his music into the Congressional Record. He was the first to be inducted as an Arizona Culture Keeper. Dolan was born and raised in Kansas , and first visited Arizona in 1959 and it seemed like a homecoming to the young man who had loved the Western movies and the “singin’ cowboys. The Balladeer takes his own one-man show on the road throughout the state and beyond. His shows consist mostly of his own songs about Arizona people, places, and things. His baritone voice is better than ever, with an almost unbelievable resonance, and his 12-string guitar adds a special dimension to the music.

Celebrate Arizona

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Be notified of upcoming events, press releases and more!

Follow Us!

Will open a new window