Day two celebrating Arizona's 100 year birthday at the Best Fest in Prescott, Arizona.
This is how it went....
We started out our day with another stunning biplane flyover getting us into the spirit of our Arizona pride.
When deciding which activity to visit while wandering around the crowds at the Best Fest we decided to walk by one of the eight stages to see who was playing. As we watched Chuck E. Baby & The All-Stars sing their hearts out, a certain two-year old was not having the best of times.
We decided to move on to the Family Fun Zone and wear her out on the jumpers. Once again that meant Daddy had to go with her, until she was ready to go on her own.
She clinged to her Daddy until he went in the jumper with her.
After countless times of jumping and sliding over and over again, we suddenly had to stop when Soph was steam-rolled by another little girl having fun. Nothing serious happened, just a little "owie" to her head.
That was mom and dad's out to move on to another fun activity!
The crowd really began to grow as the time grew closer to Wayne Newton's concert. People started saving chairs 6 hours before the concert was to begin, my sister-in-law and her friend were no exception, they had their spot picked out in morning! With chairs firmly planted in 'their' spot and heavily guarding their view of the stage, the fans were anxious to say the least.
Even the animals were ready and dressed to impress Mr. Newton!
This little lady even had her change purse with her, maybe she planned on throwing dollar bills up on stage to Wayne Newton!
When it was time to take our seats, I wasn't sure how long we would stay as I didn't know what to expect with a Wayne Newton concert. He's a bit before my time, I knew he was a legend nearly equal to Elvis Presley, but I didn't think I would know any of his songs. Regardless, I was excited just because the crowd was excited. So we sat down, no one talked, just stared at the stage to see what would happen next.
The moment finally arrived!
The leader of ceremonies announced in a deep and commanding voice, "and now Mr. Wayne Newtonnnnnnn!" It didn't matter that 90 percent of the crowd were over 65, their voices were cheering, hands were fiercely clapping, and eyes fixated upon Mr. Newton. I even saw a woman with tears running down her face as she stared at him in a spellbound state.
Mr. Newton started out with a familiar song, "Viva Las Vegas" and rolled right into Happy Birthday Arizona. He was captivating and funny, interjecting humor in his show with jokes.
He had the audience in the palm of his hand and every persons heart-strings pulled tight with his charismatic personality and genuine love for Arizona. He talked about his love for Arizona as a parent would about their child. It was sincere and refreshing at the same time.
Mr. Newton definitely still has his groove on as he sashayed around the stage wooing the woman and reminding the men he is still an icon.
About 20 minutes into the show, this old gentleman walked through the isle and stopped right in front of my 'precious view,' he never moved from the spot he carved out for himself, he stood motionless, and watched Mr. Newton perform. I could see that he was mesmerized and enjoying himself, so I scooted over to allow a myself a new angle.
Just as I thought the show couldn't get any better, Mr. Newton introduced one of his two backup singers, acclaimed gospel artist, Francis Lee, as she sang a powerful spirit filled hymn like nobody else could. I sat there quietly listening to every word she said, when she sang the word 'Jesus' in the song, I felt an overwhelming feeling that gave me chills and tears to my eyes. I began to think how wonderful it was to hear her sing about Jesus in a public setting where we are so often restrained from talking about God, or religion, or anything else our country was once founded upon. I was truly touched.
I looked at my husband holding our sleeping 'baby' and he whispered, "what are you crying about?" "Just the song," I said, and he nodded in agreement.
Mr. Newton picked up the tempo a bit more by breaking out his arsenal of musical instruments proving his abilities are far more than singing. He took over the keyboard playing "Great Balls of Fire" even tapping the keys with the tip of his shoe.
He swooned the crowd with his fiddle and pumped up the crowd with his steel guitar and banjo. The fans were cheering, toe tapping, dancing, and smiling.
I don't think anyone watching wanted the show to end, especially when he sang memorable songs like "Donke Schoen," Dixie, and "Glory Hallelujah."
After a great tribute to the Armed Forces, he sang a few more songs leaving his fans wanting more, but more importantly, fans were grateful that this legend honored our great State of Arizona so eloquently.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with his concert, originally thinking I wouldn't know any of the songs, I was quite wrong.
We walked away from the Arizona Best Fest talking about how grateful we were to have been able to experience the celebration and how appreciative we were to the countless people who helped put the event on for our community honoring 100 years as a State.