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Great Pretenders show Thursday night at Roxy

The W.C. Handy Music Festival is officially underway for 2013 and there is a full slate of entertainment planned all week long, including a popular event held right here in Franklin County.

The 13th annual “Evening at the Roxy” featuring the Great Pretenders will take place in downtown Russellville at the historic Roxy Theater on Thursday, July 25, at 7 p.m.

The event, which is sponsored by the Franklin County Arts Council, features local talent who will be doing their best impressions of famous artists such as Hank Williams, Miranda Lambert, Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, George Strait, Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, Ray Price and Minnie Pearl.

This year some of the performers include Hudson Copeland, Jayne Wells, Buford Parker, Billy Boyd, Hailey Peters, Mary Ann Davis, Carol Pace, Kelli Wells Newton, C.R. Hood, Coach Heaps, Rodney Smith, Gary Cummings, Jamie Copeland, Ashley Copeland, and several others.

Franklin County Arts Council president Susie Malone said in addition to the singing, there would also be a couple of comedy acts that would have guests entertained the whole time they were there.

“This is shaping up to be a really great show,” Malone said.

“And of course we are excited to be part of the Handy Festival once again.”

Malone said this is the 13th year the arts council has sponsored this particular Handy event.

“Each year the W.C. Handy Festival grows larger and brings people from all over the state as well as from other states to Northwest Alabama,” Malone said.

“Sponsoring one of the Handy events here in Russellville promotes the tourism in our area and helps our local economy.”

Malone said the event will also help the Roxy Theater directly since the $5 admission cost for anyone over age six goes toward the restoration of the theater.

“The Arts Council wants to present quality, wholesome programs that the entire family can enjoy,” Malone said.

“This will be an entertaining evening that you do not want to miss.”