Voice contestant Rachel Messer highlight of this year's Manton Harvest Fest

Rachel Messer competed on the NBC reality television show The Voice in 2018.

MANTON — Attendees of this year's Manton Area Harvest Festival will be treated with shining performances from several rising stars in the country music pantheon.

Headlining this year's festival on Saturday will be Rachel Messer and Claudia Hoyser, who have been making waves on the national music scene the last couple years.

In a recent interview with the Cadillac News, Messer said Manton will be the farthest she's ever traveled to play a gig.

The 20-year-old West Virginia native competed on the NBC reality television show The Voice in 2018 and is fresh off the release of her first EP, "California Sunrise."

Messer has been involved in music from a very young age, starting at age 3 singing in church.

Around the age of 16, Messer said she started to get more serious about playing music and began posting her performances online.

When producers of the Voice discovered her videos, they reached out to her and invited her to be a contestant on the show.

Messer wowed audiences and Voice judges with renditions of the classic country-western song, "I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart," as well as Sarah McLachlan's “In the Arms of an Angel.‘

Messer said the exposure she's received from being on the show has allowed her to establish herself as a professional musician.

"It was a much bigger platform to reach people," Messer said.

As a songwriter, Messer has a philosophy that if it takes longer than 30 minutes, it's taking too long.

Messer's pipe dream is being able to work with country music legend Dolly Parton, who is also a native of the mountains of Appalachia, she said.

  "It might be a cliche to say I want to work with her," Messer said. "But I think we would have a lot to relate to."

On Saturday, Messer will be accompanied by her husband, Conner Dale, who plays guitar and sings alongside Messer.

Claudia Hoyser grew up in upstate New York, where she spent a lot of time singing and secluding herself in her room to write songs.

In a phone interview with the Cadillac News last year, Hoyser said interest in her music has exploded thanks to exposure on social media platforms and terrestrial radio, including local station 100.3 FM The Bull.

Hoyser's video series called "Hoyser Country Monday" attracts hundreds of thousands of views each week on Facebook.

Other performers at this year's Manton Area Harvest Festival include Brian James Schram, Chris Schram, Kyle Reed, Steve (Elvis) Hunt, Scarkazm, Teresa Sparks, The Roadrunners, Sam Cronkhite, Sea Cruisers and Country Rhythm.

Manton Area Harvest Festival board vice president Todd Cozart said they like booking up-and-coming performers because it helps their careers and helps draw attention to the small-town festival.

In addition to live music, the festival also will feature games for kids, a car show, lumberjack competition, horse pulls, talent show, parade, the Midway, fireworks over Lake Billings and much more.

According to the event Facebook page, since 1924 The Manton Area Harvest Festival has been a time-honored tradition of community events, live music and gathering of people all across Northern Michigan.

"What started as a small gathering has grown into one of the largest parades and Labor Day weekend events in the area. Many of our events and activities are free to the public and all are family-friendly fun events. Bring the kids and the family and see why the Manton Area Harvest Festival continues to grow each year."


Schedule of events:

Friday, Aug. 30

• 7 p.m. — Steve (Elvis) Hunt

• 9 p.m. — Scarkazm


Saturday, Aug. 31

• 9 a.m. — Horseshoe tournament at Rotary Park

• 10 to 5 p.m. — Craft show at 131 and Rose Street

• Noon — Midway opens

• Noon to 2 p.m. — Karaoke

• Noon to 2:30 p.m. — Kids games with Clark the Juggler and Dynamite the Clown

• 2 to 4 p.m. — Sea Cruisers in concert

• 4 to 5 p.m. — Sam Cronkhite in concert

• 5 to 7 p.m. — Rachel Messer in concern

• 6 p.m. — BINGO at VFW Hall

• 7 to 9:30 p.m. — Claudia Hoyser in concert

• 9 p.m. — Party on the Porch at Latitude 44

• Dusk — Fireworks over Lake Billings


Sunday, Sept. 1

• 7 to 11 a.m. — Pancake breakfast at Manton VFD

• 10 a.m to 6 p.m. — Craft show at U.S. 131 and Rose Street

• Noon — Midway opens

• 1 to 2 p.m. — Gospel music

• 2:30 p.m. — Road Runners in concert

• 4 p.m. —Teresa Sparks in concert

• 6 p.m. — Chris Schram in concert

• 7 p.m. — Brian James Schram in concert


Monday, Sept. 2

• 8 to 11 a.m. — Coffee and doughnuts at Manton Senior Center

• 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. — Blood drive at United Methodist Church

• 9 a.m to 5 p.m. — Craft show at U.S. 131 and Rose Street

• 10 a.m. — Harvest Festival parade

• 10 a.m. — Car show at high school

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. — Quilt show at the mill

• 11 a.m. — Popcorn and cotton candy at the senior center

• 11 a.m. — Midway opens

• 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Rotary chicken barbecue at 5th Street gym

• 11:15 a.m. — Grand Traverse Pipes and Drums at Manton High School. Also Clark the Juggler and Northern Lights Irish Dancers

• Noon — Horse pulls at South and State streets

• 1 p.m. — Lumberjack competition

• 4 to 5 p.m. — Raffle drawing

• 5 p.m. — Country Rhythm

Cadillac News