By Leah Sander
WARSAW — Country gospel artist Susie McEntire will mark her 10th anniversary of performing in Warsaw this December.
And with that, local fans will get to interact with her in new ways.
“A Country Christmas With Susie McEntire” returns to Lakeview Middle School, 848 E. Smith St., on Saturday, Dec. 16. Doors open at 6 p.m., with the concert starting at 7 p.m.
The concert once again has free admission, with people asked to bring new, unwrapped toys to donate to Toys for Tots. Toys will be donated this year in memory of local radio personality Chris Cage’s son Christian, who passed away earlier this year.
Prior to the concert, women and girls are welcome to attend McEntire’s first-ever “Pamper Me” women’s conference in Warsaw. It will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Lakeview’s gym.
The conference includes a style show, lunch, vendors to shop and music by McEntire as well as country artist Keenie Word Moore, who’s appeared at “A Country Christmas With Susie McEntire” before and will do so again this year.
McEntire and Word Moore will also speak along with author and speaker Serena Dyksen and Pam Stalpes, the latter who is a close friend with McEntire.
Also speaking will be Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, though she will keep her message more personal and not political, said McEntire.
McEntire said she started the first “Pamper Me” women’s conference in her hometown in Oklahoma after seeing the need for one. She notes “men go on retreats” all the time, but women often don’t.
“We need that fellowship,” she said. “I just want women to come and have a good time.”
There will also be door prizes, with people welcome to donate items for the event by reaching out to organizer Mike Loher at [email protected].
Sponsors are paying for up to 15 women to come from the Beaman Home to go to the conference, with McEntire adding she hopes it’s “healing and restorative” for them.
The cost for the conference is $40 a person through Monday, Dec. 11, with it being $45 at the door afterward. Groups of 10 or more get the discounted rate of $35 for each person.
Tickets may be ordered via the link on countrychristmaswarsaw.com.
As for the concert Saturday night, McEntire will be joined by her husband Mark Eaton and Word Moore. Longtime country artists Linda Davis and her husband Lang Scott will return again as well as singer Jenifer Wrinkle. Wrinkle’s husband Scott Thompson of Pure Prairie League will also be present.
“We’re real people and just want to celebrate Jesus, the Reason for the season,” said McEntire.
New this year, there will be a sign language interpreter from Goshen College to help those who are hearing-impaired enjoy the concert too. Warsaw Community High School’s digital media production class is to also create footage of the concert to share with those in retirement or care facilities.
McEntire thanked all the sponsors and volunteers for making the concert happen again.
If people can’t make it to the concert, they’ll also have a chance to see McEntire and her husband at Leesburg United Methodist Church on Sunday, Dec. 17. The two will lead the service starting at 9 a.m.
McEntire and Eaton will also be some of the grand marshals in Main Street Warsaw’s Twinkle Light Parade on Friday, Dec. 15, along with Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer and his family.