County music artist Mark Wills coming to Parker

Sarah Ebeling | Editor

What began as a youth pheasant hunt in 2004 has changed and grown into so much more today. 

When the Turner County Youth Pheasant Hunt began 15 years ago, board member Byron Nogelmeier was looking for a way to get kids involved into hunting, safely. However, after about three years, the board began looking at ways to grow the event and raise money for different organizations. And so, in 2007, country music artists began coming to Parker to not only take in hunting when they were able, but to also put their talents to use. The first concert, 12 years ago, hosted Daryle Singletary, Jimmy Fortune, Jim Ed Brown and Jett Williams. As the annual event has grown, other artists such as Helen Cornelius, Larry Cordel and Guy Penrod came to Parker time and time again to be part of the event. 

And that hasn’t changed through the years. This year, the board was given Mark Wills name by Jimmy Fortune as someone who might be interested in traveling to Parker for a concert. After contacting Wills’ booking agency and after negotiations, Wills accepted the offer. 

For the hunts 15th season, Grand Ole Opry member Wills, who has multiple top 40 hits, will be in Parker on Saturday, Nov. 2. 

Wills, who is wildly known for songs such as 19 Something, Wish You Were Here, I Do, Don’t Laugh at Me and many others, will perform a 75-90 minute concert at 7 p.m. at the Parker School. 

“I am really excited he is coming here. Once again I tell everybody with this type of talent we have brought to Parker, we should be able to fill the gymnasium with concert goers,” said Nogelmeier. 

He explained that tickets are only $25 in advance for adults and will be $30 at the door the day of the show. Tickets for kids, ages k-12 will be $10. Tickets can be purchased locally at Jones’ Food Center, Parker Pharmacy, Merchants State Banks in Freeman, Hurley, Viborg and Irene, Security State Bank in Chancellor, the Diamond Room in Sioux Falls and McCrossan Boys Ranch. All proceeds raised from the event will go to McCrossan Boys Ranch. 

“The board chose that organization because they help troubled at risk boys and youth is what this event is all about,” said Nogelmeier. 

Tickets can also be purchased online at www.itickets.com and the Lennox Band Boosters are also selling tickets for anyone in the Lennox area who might want some. 

Also new this year is the location of the hunt. This year all of the youth hunters who have successfully passed the Hunt Safe Course for this event will head to rural Humboldt to hunt at Hunters Pointe. Thirty-one invites were sent out, with about half of the kids taking part. 

“Hunting at Hunters Pointe will be a new experience and having Mark Wills come, having a younger artist who is a member of the Grand Ole Opry should be a great experience for everyone,” said Nogelmeier. 

The following youth hunters will also be selling concert tickets. From Parker, Evan Houlihan 605-651-0323, Myles Meyer 605-310-9401, Jake Coleman 605-408-6873, Jevin Erickson 605-201-2381, Wyatt Rand 605-201-6593, Orson Muller 605-360-3307, Mason Schaefer 605-254-3690, Jerimah Friman, 605-750-0340; from Marion Keagan Kettwig 605-351-1293, Karter Weber 605-660-8101; from Canistota, Dominic Sperling 605-240-0036; from Hudson Jerimah Decker 605-351-4537. 

The hunter who sells the most tickets will earn a shotgun. 

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