MECHANICSBURG — Tens of thousands of people turned a field into a party and kicked the dust up when Luke Bryan brought the opening show of his 10th annual Farm Tour to the Ayars Family Farm on Thursday, Sept. 27.
The crowd was hooked from the opening notes of “Country Girl (Shake it For Me)” and Bryan kept them captivated with his typical assortment of goofy grins and hip gyrations.
“He’s so cute,” ladies swooned to one another near the stage.
Locals were excited for the show months in advance.
”My husband got me two Luke Bryan tickets for our anniversary, so that (my daughter) Kiki and I could go. A few weeks later, Kiki tore her ACL, MCL and meniscus and fractured her patella. Her surgery is set for October 8. Even though she will be on crutches or a wheelchair, it’s not stopping us from going,” Dawndee Zizzo, of Cable, said.
The Zizzos did indeed attend, with thousands of new friends bonding over their love of country music, tailgating and beer. Lots and lots of beer. Tall cans of Miller Lite were going for $11 inside the makeshift venue. Outside, fans waited several hours with games of cornhole and coolers.
Once the show got going, fans crammed in one on top of another for the pleasure of jockeying through the sea of people to get a better view. Folks who weren’t as keen on that type of atmosphere were allowed to set up chairs in the back of the staging area, and most people took that option, sacrificing positioning for convenience.
No matter where you sat or stood, patrons were treated to a beautiful double rainbow and a gorgeous sunset over the setting.
Special guests Chase Rice, Peach Pickers and Jon Langston opened the act, before Bryan himself took the stage a little after 9 p.m.
The country music superstar played a bevy of hits, including number one singles “I Don’t Want This Night to End,” “That’s My Kind of Night,” “Drink a Beer,” “Someone Else Calling You Baby,” “Drunk On You,” “Kick the Dust Up” and “Strip It Down.”
When it was over, an avalanche of traffic kept deputies and volunteers busy for another stretch of hours as the horde maneuvered its way through the unmarked lanes of the field for the relative safety of the congested roadways.