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Muskogee announces plans for new Okie Country Music Fest

BY BRANDY McDONNELL Published: May 8, 2010
MUSKOGEE — Red dirt performers Jason Boland & the Stragglers and Brandon Jenkins have been snared for a new music festival.

The Greater Muskogee Area Chamber of Commerce, radio station Okie Country KTFX-FM 101.7 and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casino will present the Okie Country Music Fest June 19 at Three Forks Harbor on the Arkansas River. Organizers hope to make the music festival an annual occurrence, said Alisha Tanksley, the chamber’s tourism and marketing assistant director.

The Okie Country Music Fest is planned in conjunction with the Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament June 17-20.

The last stop in the series trail, the event is expected to draw strong attendance and competition as the angler of the year will be announced.

ESPN2 will film in Muskogee during the competition.

Since Muskogee is so connected with country music, a music festival is a logical fit, organizers said in announcing the new event.

"Merle Haggard thrust Muskogee into the global spotlight with his hit song ‘Okie From Muskogee’ back in 1969,” Okie Country operations manager Cliff Casteel said in a news release.

The festival will offer live music on two stages and showcase musicians with Oklahoma ties, Tanksley said.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 19, amateur performers can compete on the side stage in a local round of the Colgate Country Showdown, billed as the nation’s biggest and longest-running country music talent search. Winners have the chance to advance to the state competition with hopes of moving on to the regional finals and finally to the national final.

Local winners will open the Okie Country Music Fest concert starting at 6 p.m. June 19 on the main stage. The lineup will include Muskogee duo the Swon Brothers, singer/songwriter/guitarist Brandon Jenkins and Texas-based quintet Jason Boland & the Stragglers. Although they now live in Austin, Jenkins grew up in Tulsa, and Boland hails from Harrah.