‘Sing-Off’ winners to perform at raceway

FAIRMONT – After gaining national attention by winning on NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” the Mankato-based band Home Free will return to the area with a concert at Fairmont Raceway on May 10.

“We got really lucky,” said Becky Thoreson of the raceway. “The group was right in transition from their local representation to national representation by NBC. We called to see if they had an opening and if they were interested, and we managed to get in before that transition. Otherwise it would have been much more difficult. Plus they love this area, because it’s home.”

This will be the country a cappella band’s first concert in southern Minnesota since gaining national attention on “The Sing-Off” in December.

“They’ve been in Duluth, and they did a show in Minneapolis, but this will be a bit more of a homecoming for them,” Thoreson said.

Having Home Free arrive early in the raceway’s season also allowed for an opportunity for area high school choirs.

“I was able to connect with the high schools around here, and we will have the honor choir from eight local high schools as the opening act,” Thoreson said. “Home Free is very interested and wants to invest into youth and music, so there will be a meet and greet with the choirs.”

The Home Free concert will help launch the second Fairmont Raceway season for the Thoresons. The season begins May 2.

“We have six cause races this year,” Thoreson said. “We also have a lot of specials lined up. The Northstar series will be a special show on the Fourth of July. In August, we have a ‘Jam the Stands’ event. On Aug. 1, admission is free, and then there are special races on the following night. The Corn Growers Association is sponsoring those nights, so the racers are being encouraged to use ethanol that night, and those that do will be able to race for free.”

There will be a few tweaks at the raceway compared to last year, Thoreson said.

“We learned a lot, so we will be improving,” she said. “We will be paying more attention to the weather. We will have more community groups, and have more charitable causes and giving. There are also some facility improvements that may not be noticeable to spectators, but will be noticeable by the drivers.”

On April 27, there will be a “test and tune” that gives racers the opportunity to try out the track and their vehicles for the year. Admission for the afternoon is free, with limited concessions available.

Tickets to the Home Free Concert are available at Richard’s Auto and Towing and the Holiday Inn in Fairmont. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students 6 and older. Tickets on the day of the concert are $25 for adults and $15 for students.

Tickets can also be purchased online at fairmontraceway.com