West Virginia University fans are buying up tickets to see one of their ownGlen Dales Brad Paisleywhile attending the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn., said Steve Douglas, executive director of the WVU Alumni Association.

The 27-year-old singer-songwriter-guitarist will headline the WVU Alumni Associations pre-game rally,”Mountaineer Music Mash,”on Thursday, Dec. 28, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Wildhorse Saloon.

“Wed like to see the event close to a sell-out before we leave Christmas Day for the bowl game,”Douglas said.”Were halfway there.”

Douglas said Paisley is”pumped up”and planning to wear WVU blue and gold when he performs.”I think it will be a knockout performance. Anyone who saw him recently on the CMA Awards Show knows he is a rising star in this business. Only Faith Hill had as many nominations (six),”he noted.

Paisleys current single,”We Danced,”is topping the country music billboard charts, and when hes not on the road performing, hes a regular on the Grand Ole Opry. His parents, Doug and Sandy Paisley who still reside in Glen Dale, say their son got his start as a youngster performing on WWVA s”Jamboree USA “radio show.

The MetroNews Radio Network will broadcast the concert”live”to a statewide audience.

The event, priced at $15, is limited to the first 2,000 people who make reservations. Credit card orders are being accepted by calling 304-293-4731. A limited number of tickets will also be on sale Dec. 27 at the Mountaineer Fan Center located in the Grand Ballrooms of the Hilton SuitesNashville Downtown.

The Fan Center, open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 27, is a”favored gathering spot for our fans,”said Deborah Fusco of Institutional Advancement.

“Mountaineer fans travel to bowl games from across the United States, and theyve grown accustomed to stopping by the Fan Center to meet up with friends, pick up a commemorative bowl pin, get information or directions to local shops and eateries, find out about other WVU and bowl activities, purchase WVU logo items at the Mountaineer Marketand just generally have a good time.”

The atmosphere will be enhanced with some special recognition in honor of retiring coach Don Nehlen. The first 1,000 fans who sign the”Don Nehlen Scrapbook”will receive a commemorative bowl pin, she noted.”Thanks Don”buttons will also be available along with a”photo opp with the Coach,”a life-size cardboard cut-out.

Fusco also wants fans to know what else is going on in Nashville, so a schedule will be available at the center along with parking and shuttle information. It is being sponsored by United National Bank and Verizon Communications.

The main WVU and Music City Bowl events include:

p. Wednesday, Dec. 27:

  • 6 p.m.,”Battle of the Bands,” WVU and Ole Miss, 6 p.m., 2nd Ave.
  • 6 p.m.-2 a.m., Music City Bowl Block Party, Corner of 2nd Ave. and Commerce

    p. Thursday, Dec. 28:

  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m.,”Mountaineer Music Mash,”Wildhorse Saloon, 2nd Ave., featuring Brad Paisley; ticketed event. Call 304-293-4731.
  • 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Mountaineer Market (sales of WVU logo merchandise), Tennessee Fox Trot Carousel, 1st Ave.
  • 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.,”WVU Gathering of the Fans”(free pom-poms and balloons to the first 2,000 fans), Tennessee Fox Trot Carousel, 1st Ave.
  • 12:30 p.m.Music City Bowl Pre-Game Concert, Jimmy Hall and the Prisoners of Love, Adelphia Coliseum, Lot A
  • 1 p.m.”WVU Fan Walk”(WVU Marching Band leads fans to the game; approximate 30-minute walk), Court of Flags, 1st Ave.
  • 1-3 p.m. WVU Pom-Pom Distribution, West Gate, Adelphia Coliseum
  • 2:40 p.m. WVU Marching Band Pre-Game Field Performance, Adelphia Coliseum.
  • 3 p.m. CST /4 p.m. EST Music City Bowl, Adelphia Coliseum, featuring a halftime performance by CMA s 2000 Duo of the Year Montgomery Gentry

Fans can still purchase game tickets by calling 1-800-WVU-GAME. WVU received an allotment of 12,000 tickets; close to 5,000 have been sold. For official WVU travel packages, call 1-800-624-8282. For more information, visitwww.wvu.eduand click on the Music City Bowl icon.