Country artist Drake White to headline Columbiana Liberty Day this June

Published 2:40 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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By DONALD MOTTERN | Staff Writer 

COLUMBIANA – Organizers for Columbiana’s annual Liberty Day have officially announced the headline performance for this year’s free event which has proven to be one of the city’s largest festival gatherings of the year.

On Monday, April 15, organizers for this year’s Liberty Day Festival announced that the 38th annual iteration of the event will be headlined by country music artist, and Alabama native, Drake White.

“Drake White grew up singing in his church’s youth choir in Alabama before becoming one of country music’s most spirited innovators, earning four Top 40 hits and traveling the country on multiple nationwide tours,” said Ali Payne, manager of community affairs and senior services for Columbiana.

White has released three studio albums, with his first “50 Years Too Late,” being self-released in February 2011.

His 2013 debut single, “The Simple Life,” largely introduced White’s personal rendition of country soul music, a brand he further solidified with the release of his 2016 debut studio album “Spark.”

In August 2019, White made headlines in a different category when he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke during a live stage performance. That incident led to a diagnosis, identification and repair of an arteriovenous malformation, an abnormal connection between arteries and veins.

Despite a cautionary prognosis that said he may never perform again, White underwent months of physiotherapy and worked to return to the craft he has poured his life into.

In 2021, he toured with Whiskey Myers, a rock band from Palestine, Texas, and made his independent return by headlining The Optimystic Tour in Spring 2022.

That tour also highlighted his new album, of the same name, that served as a self-described inspiring glimpse into the journey that White has undertaken over the past few years.

“White has received accolades including Rolling Stone’s 10 Country Artists You Need to Know, The Grammy’s Artist of Tomorrow and the British CMA Awards’ International Song of the Year and has shared the bill with Country music superstars like Luke Bryan, Eric Church and Zac Brown Band,” Payne said. “We are excited to have (White) perform as the Saturday night headliner for Liberty Day this year.”

The Liberty Day festival will occur over a two-day period in June, with Friday, June 28 opening the festival. Payne has also confirmed that The Shimmer Band, a party band based out of Atlanta, will be present among the musical entertainers for the festival’s opening evening.

Overall, the Liberty Day Festival will include musical acts performing on three stages throughout Columbiana. In addition to the music, a 5K race, variety of food trucks, arts and crafts vendors, games and a professional fireworks show will be among the many events and attractions present at the city’s premier festival.

The festival, which has been a Columbiana tradition since 1986, routinely brings thousands into the city and marks the chance for both residents and visitors to have a day of worry-free family entertainment.

A car show, hot dog eating contest and parade through Main Street are also set for the event and details for each will be forthcoming as the date for the festival approaches.