Two years ago, yours truly embarked on finding a real country experience that didn't lead me into the backwoods of some quaint southern town, but rather out into a barren field in Florence. I was alone. I was scared. I was wearing flip flops, at the risk of getting my tootsies stomped by the cowboy boots that only get love once a year.
I went to Country Thunder.
Not considering myself a country music fan, (unless you're willing to swap Toby Keith for Ryan Bingham) I set out for an experience I'll likely never forget. Typically I subscribe to the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" attitude, (Don't believe me? Ask GWAR fans.) but at this particular event, I remained a spectator. I still insist it was for my own safety.
As you or your friends head out to the annual shitkicker fest this weekend to see Big and Rich, Jake Owen, Kellie Pickler, Sawyer Brown, Steve Holy, Sara Jean Kelley, Blake Shelton, Thompson Square, Joe Nichols, Neal McCoy, & The Farm, Alan Jackson, The Band Perry, Phil Vassar, Brett Eldredge, and JT Hodges, just know that you'll meet one or more of these characters. Be prepared.
Country Thunder started yesterday, and runs Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 13-15, at Canyon Moon Ranch Grounds in Florence, Arizona.
The Sorority Girl Turned Daisy Duke
I'm going to go ahead and say you can blame porn and Jessica Simpson for this one. This little lady comes to Country Thunder for two reasons -- to get drunk and to become the object of your diluted fantasy in which women from the south fit into size six cutoffs. It might be sexy if their moms and grandmothers didn't do the same thing. It's a bit of a Country Thunder cliché, but this festival is all about perpetuating the fun loving country stereotypes.
Sweet Brome Alabama
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The male counterpart to the ladies above, these guys skip the sexy, but don't scrimp on the booze. Often they'll suspenders and trucker hats for irony's sake. They'll be out in the dirt parking lot "pre-gaming" for most of the festival. They'll eventually come around for The Band Perry and Blake Shelton, shouting "Freebird" the whole time.
The Actual Country Music Fans
They'll be the ones keeping to themselves and actually watching the performances. They'll be far, far away when the "Hot GILF" contest takes place. (I'm serious. This was a thing when I was there.)
The Sun Poisoned
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Having to puke in an outhouse only exasperates the situation. It's April. It's hot. Take precautions. You've been warned.
The Hipster? No, the Fan. Wait...
He has a full beard and he's wearing overalls, yet he isn't hanging out with the bros. Nobody actually wears outfits like that... right? Not that there's anything wrong with it, it's just that... he's a hipster... right? Your guess is as good as mine. When you figure it out, let me know. (Note: If he rides away on a penny-farthing, you have your answer. Maybe.)