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PHOTO GALLERY: Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown hits Columbia

Saturday, June 11, 2011 | 5:57 p.m. CDT; updated 12:47 p.m. CDT, Monday, June 13, 2011
Willie Nelson headlines the Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown at Midway Exposition Center Friday night. Columbia was the ninth stop on the 24-venue excursion.

Willie Nelson's 2011 Country Throwdown visited the Midway Exposition Center in Columbia on Friday. Nelson, 78, was joined by numerous country artists, among them his son, Lukas.

Trigger, Willie Nelson's famous classic Martin N-20 guitar, has earned a hole from extended use. The performer, at 78, and his guitar, bought in 1969, are making their rounds across the country in this year's Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown tour.
Seventy-eight-year-old Willie Nelson performs with his son, Lukas, during the last set at Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown. The concert was held outside Midway Exposition Center Friday.
Ben Sims, drummer for Brantley Gilbert, performs at Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown 2011 tour at Midway Exposition Center Friday afternoon.
Lukas Nelson, lead vocals and guitar of Luke Nelson and Promise of the Real, leaps on the stage with bassist Corey McCormick during their performance Friday afternoon at Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown at Midway Exposition Center.
An eager crowd cheers when 78-year-old Willie Nelson performs to finish off the night at Midway Exposition Center Friday. Columbia was the ninth stop on Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown 2011 tour, which is set to hit 24 venues across the country.
Jamey Johnson performs on the main stage, which needed to be covered with a plastic rainguard after a storm disturbed Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown 2011 tour, at Midway Exposition Center Friday. Johnson and Jack Ingram were the only returning artists from last year's Throwdown.
A tent providing shade from the harsh sun and from the pouring rain frames the main stage at Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown at Midway Exposition Center on Friday. A passing thunderstorm, which delayed some performances, tested the will of some true Willie fans.
Scot Krahenbuhl, 19, and friend Jake Barnes, 19, of Peculiar, dance to the sounds of Drake White with a man in a Teletubby costume at Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown 2011 tour on Friday.
Drake White kicks off Willie Nelson's Country Throwdown 2011 tour on the second stage at Midway Exposition Center Friday afternoon. The tour is set to hit 24 venues around the country, covering 12,569 miles.

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