By Leah Sander
WARSAW — Country gospel singer Susie McEntire knows that people can get caught up in the busyness of the Christmas season.
That’s why she hopes that her annual holiday concert in Warsaw will give people a time out from the craziness.
“A Country Christmas With Susie McEntire” is set for Saturday, Dec. 11, at Lakeview Middle School, 848 E. Smith St. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the concert starting at 7 p.m. The concert is free, but those attending are asked to bring new unwrapped toys to be donated to Toys for Tots.
According to her website, McEntire, the younger sister of legendary country artist Reba McEntire, has received “numerous awards and nominations from TNN, GMA and CCMA.” She also “has been named ‘Artist of the Year’ several times in the field of Positive Country Music.”
McEntire told InkFreeNews that she wants the event on Dec. 11 to be “a time to take a breath and just breathe” in the midst of the holiday season. She noted that Christmas is about remembering Jesus, calling His birth the most “significant piece of history in our world.”
This is the eighth time the show’s been held in Warsaw and the ninth visit to town for McEntire and her husband Mark Eaton. McEntire said she considers Warsaw to be her “home in December.”
“We believe in what Toys for Tots are doing,” added McEntire of the organization affiliated with the United States Marines that collects toys for children in need for Christmas. Her stepson is a Marine.
As for the concert, McEntire will be joined by singer Linda Davis.
Davis, a Grammy Award-winner in both country and contemporary Christian music, noted that her husband and fellow musician Lang Scott is to join her.
“We want (the audience) to take away the spirit of the holidays,” said Davis, referring to the birth of Jesus. “Christmas is everybody’s most favorite time of year,” she added.
Opening the concert will be Keenie Word Moore, an artist who recorded the song “Love Don’t Care” with Susie McEntire.
“I hope folks that come will leave full of hope and joy and will be inspired and refreshed ready to celebrate the Christmas season,” said concert organizer Mike Loher. “Hopefully they’ll also tell all their friends how good of a show it was and bring them next year!”
Those who can’t make it out on Dec. 11 will have another opportunity to see McEntire perform during Leesburg United Methodist Church’s service on Sunday, Dec. 12. Eaton will also speak, with the service to start at 9 a.m. at the church at 111 W. Prairie St.