Blake Shelton

Blake Shelton performs in Pendleton at the 2018 Pendleton Whisky Music Fest. Locals can watch a recording of a concert of the popular county music singer and television personality at the La Grande Drive-in the evening of July 25.

LA GRANDE — Union County residents soon will get to see one of country music’s biggest stars under the stars.

A recorded Blake Shelton concert will be shown at the La Grande Drive-in the evening of July 25.

The drive-in will be one of more than 300 in the United States and Canada where the concert will air that night. The concert will debut an Encore Drive-In Nights series across the U.S. and Canada.

The La Grande Drive-in will be one of only three sites in Oregon to show the concert. The others are in Milton-Freewater and Newberg, the sites of Oregon’s two other commercial drive-in theaters.

The La Grande Drive-in’s capacity for the concert will be 300 vehicles. This is the total it can accommodate and still meet social distancing standards in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said drive-in manager Patty Johnson. Spectators will be allowed to watch the concert outside only if they sit in lawn chairs that are touching their vehicles.

Tickets to the show are $114.99 per vehicle and must be purchased in advance via ticketmaster.com. The maximum number of people allowed per vehicle will be six and all must have legal seat belts. Gates at the La Grande Drive-in will open at 6:30 p.m. and the concert will start at 9:30 p.m.

The concert was filmed especially for drive-in theaters. The series it is kicking off, Johnson said, is in response to the strong reception received for Garth Brooks’ June 27 drive-in concert, which was shown at drive-in theaters across the nation.

Shelton has had numerous hit records during his career and won many honors. The People’s Choice Awards in November named him the Favorite Country Artist. He also won Single of the Year at the Country Music Association Awards for his song “God’s Country.”

The entertainer also is well known as a successful coach on the television series “The Voice,” an American singing competition series.

“This is such a great way to enjoy music with your family and friends and stay safe,” Shelton said of the drive-in concert on his website, blakeshelton.com.

Shelton also wrote he will perform his older hits, sic as “Austin,” as well as newer songs.

The concert also includes guest performances by fellow music stars Gwen Stefani and Trace Adkins.

The La Grande Drive-in in the past has shown events other than movies. For example, the drive-in during its inaugural year of 1951 showed a film of a boxing match between featherweight world champion Sandy Saddler and challenger Willie Pep.

The La Grande Drive-in opened for its 2020 season May 15. The opening was about a month later than normal because of the pandemic.

The drive-in now is the only movie theater operating in Union County, due to the coronavirus.

General assignment reporter

Beats include the communities of North Powder, Imbler, Island City and Union, education, Union County veterans programs and local history. Dick joined The Observer in 1983, first working as a sports and outdoors reporter.

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