Heart and Aretha Franklin highlight this year’s retro crop of State Fair performers

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From the July 24, 2014 edition

One of the most enticing aspects of any state fair is the nostalgia acts they tend to book for concert programming. This year’s Ohio State Fair brings together some of the best of these exclusive throwback acts. Even better, due to some killer planning, these artists have been teamed up with other aesthetically and era-similar acts. This means these shows can't be considered anything less than all-star.

After skimming the classic (not has-been) acts scheduled to perform, one will be antsy to nab a ticket (or several). Here are the five best hit-making machines coming to the State Fair's Celeste Center this week.

Boyz II Men with Christon Gray

R&B balladeers come together with Columbus singer Christon Gray for a heartfelt, maybe even tearful, evening of music. No shame. (7 p.m. Thursday, July 24)

“Takin' Care of Business” with Bachman & Turner, Blue Oyster Cult, Foghat

Hard rock wouldn't hit nearly as hard today if it weren't for the tunes from this trio of '70s powerhouses. (7 p.m. Saturday, July 26)

The Beach Boys / America

Hear a hit-after-hit performance that runs the gamut from America’s “A Horse With No Name” to The Beach Boys’ (possibly John Stamos-assisted) “Wouldn't It Be Nice.” (7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 29)

Heart / Joan Jett and The Blackhearts

Seeing Heart's Wilson sisters and Joan Jett on the same stage might be one of the coolest experiences at this year’s State Fair. (7 p.m. Wednesday, July 30)

Aretha Franklin

The Queen of Soul takes on the state fair to perform a slew of the genre's — and music history's — most striking songs. (7 p.m. Thursday, July 31)

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Ohio State Fair

Through Aug. 3

717 E. 17th Ave., North Side

ohiostatefair.com