Joe Nichols headlines Patriot Night Under the Lights in Ellensburg

ELLENSBURG, Wash — Even without fireworks to cap off Patriot Night Under the Lights, people still got to celebrate the independence day event with a multi-platinum recording artist.

Country singer Joe Nichols headlined the event, playing in front of hundreds at the Ellensburg Rodeo Arena. 

For spectator Dee Anderson, the show signaled a return to what life was like before Covid-19.

“It feels like we’re getting back to normal,” Anderson said. “It’s very freeing.”



Anderson had been holding onto tickets for two years. She brought her whole family out to enjoy the concert with her. It was her first time seeing Nichols play in person.

“I don’t get out of Ellensburg much, so he had to come to me,” Anderson said.

Kittitas County Event Center Director Kady Porterfield organized the event. Before the show, Porterfield said she thought Nichols would be the perfect act for a community celebration.

With chart-topping singles like “Brokenheartsville,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” and “Gimmie that Girl,” Nichols came to Ellensburg with a high pedigree.

“Luckily, I work with really great people that have connections,” Porterfield said. “I’ve been listening to him since I was a kid. I absolutely love his music.”

Nichols music had much of the crowd on its feet, dancing and singing along. While fireworks probably would’ve added an extra spark, Porterfield said canceling that part of the event was the right way to go.

“I worked really closely with our local fire officials, and we decided that this year, it probably wasn’t safe to try to move forward,” Porterfield said. “[The conditions] just seemed a little too extreme this year, so we are going to gameplan and try again another time.”