WARSAW — Despite the winter storm warning, Susie McEntire warmed the hearts of the audience at Lakeview Middle School last night, Dec. 10, during A Country Christmas.
This concert marked the fourth time that McEntire has performed in Warsaw. To keep things fresh, the concert started off with a special surprise for McEntire.
Staff Sergeant John Hovarter, member of the Fort Wayne Blacksnakes, made a special video that was shown before the concert began. McEntire and her sister Reba had previously created videos for Hovarter to help with the Fort Wayne Airshow. Hovarter wanted to return the favor and show his appreciation to the family.
“I can’t thank you enough for what you’ve done for vets across the nation,” said Hovarter in the video.
Hovarter’s wife, Denise, was invited to the stage to present McEntire with an engraved shell from her husband.
After the special presentation, the concert began with McEntire sitting on the stage steps to get close and friendly with the audience. She sang many traditional Christmas songs with a country twist, and often invited the audience to sing along with her.
Just like in previous years, McEntire shared stories from her childhood and her family between songs. She had the audience laughing as she struggled with a slippery chair and became relatable with the crowd.
During her performance, she brought two guest acts on stage to sing along with her. Her husband, Mark Eaton joined her for several songs and shared stories of their lives together. At the very end of the show, McEntire brought The Chain Gang Quartet, a local musical group, to sing Silent Night on stage.
The performance was free to attend, but guests were encouraged to bring new, unwrapped gifts to donate to Toys for Tots. In all, eight large boxes of new toys were collected during the concert.
Fans will have one more chance to see McEntire in the area this weekend. She will be perform at Leesburg United Methodist Church, 111 West Prairie St., Warsaw, at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11.