Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (with microphone) congratulates Battle of the Bands winner, Last Licks, at the Woodstock Fair Main State Aug. 30. Photo courtesy of the Woodstock Fair.

WOODSTOCK — The 159th annual Woodstock Fair got off to a rousing start Aug. 30 with the Battle of the Bands.
The event was also Connecticut’s official celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival in New York.
The competition, sponsored by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, featured five in-state bands competing for a share of $17,000 in prize money.
All of the competitors had to perform songs that were played at the original music festival.
The band, Last Licks, with members from the Central Connecticut area, were declared the winners by the judges which included the governor, Department of Agriculture commissioner Bryan Hurlburt, state senator George Logan, state troubadour Nikita Waller, WINY owner and personality Gary “O” Osbrey and WFSB Channel 3 news anchor Dennis House.
Bill Wilson, lead vocalist of Last Licks, said: “It was more fun than I could possibly describe for you. We thought all of the bands did a great job. It was a really tight competition. The crowd reaction was great for every band and I hope every band felt like they won (Friday), because they did.”
Other bands that competed included the Balkun Brothers; Weird Sounds; the Hollister-Thompson Band and Among the Acres.
“When we hit the stage, we always feel like there is some magic, we just do it, and it’s probably just good chemistry. It’s all the songs we love. Apparently, everybody felt the same (Friday),” Wilson said.
Last Licks received $7,500 for the first-place finish.
They were also named the Connecticut Band of the Year.
“That is really amazing. We’re going to get right on the graphics,” Wilson said with a laugh. “It was a pleasure meeting the governor, too. He did a really good job of putting this together. We appreciate that. Not everybody in politics appreciates what happened as much as he did. He had a great time (Friday) and I had a great time watching him have a great time.”
The Hollister Thompson Band finished second and won $5,000; Among the Acres took the $2,500 third-place prize and both the Balkun Brothers and Weird Sounds took home $1,000 for their fourth- and fifth-place finishes respectively.
The event was greeted by a very supportive crowd at the Main Stage of the Fair.


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