Fan Fair X draws crowds at CMA Music Fest - WSMV Channel 4

Fan Fair X draws crowds at CMA Music Fest

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The popular Fan Fair attraction has returned this year at the Country Music Association Music Festival, and fans have begun heading to the Music City Center for autographs, memorabilia and live performances.

Unlike the former Fan Fair days at the state fairgrounds, you can ignore the rain, heat and humidity this time around.

Country artist Mark Willis is one of the musicians signing autographs in the air-conditioned convention center but is old enough to remember the original Fan Fair event.

"If we can both go back to the fairground days, we're old. From the fairgrounds, to the old convention center, to the new convention center, we're old," Willis said.

Popular group Lady Antebellum helped cut the ribbon Thursday morning, officially opening the 2013 CMA Fest.

Lead singer Hillary Scott said she remembers coming to Fan Fair when she was a young child with her mother, country star Linda Davis.

"I remember, actually, being the photographer in my mom's booth, taking photos. Someone would come through the line and I would take their picture with my mom," Scott said.

Country artist Will Bannister said he likes the informal, relaxed setup of the revived Fan Fair X at the Music City Center.

"It's climate controlled. It's been raining outside, and it keeps the rain off your head. So, that's good," Bannister said.

With about 350,000 square feet of exhibit space, fans have plenty to see at Fan Fair, including stars' stage-worn outfits, props from performances and even some yearbook photos from before the stars were famous.

Tickets for Fan Fair are $10 per day or $25 for a four-day pass. Children under 12 are admitted free. For a complete schedule of events, visit:

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