The 44th annual National Old-Time Music Festival is coming to Nebraska.

The four-day celebration of America’s musical heritage will be held Oct. 3-6 at Christensen Field in Fremont.

The festival features three stages in a climate controlled building and expects over 250 local, regional, national and international performers.

Stars like Jeannie C. Riley, Terry Smith, Randall Franks and the Grand Ole Opry’s Jeannie Seely are among the performers slated to appear at the festival to “perform America’s old-time music, traditional country, bluegrass, folk, blues, mountain, hillbilly, everything that was once a popular genre among rural folks,” said Bob Everhart, festival organizer and president of the national Traditional Country Music Association.

A St. Edward, Neb., native, Everhart has been performing country music most of his life. He has recorded seven albums of old-time music for the Smithsonian Institution’s Folkways label and produced “Old Time Country Music,” for Iowa Public Television for seven years.

He said his main goal now is to keep the country in country music.

“That’s a tough job when everything is so ‘tech’,” he said. “Real country music is an art form developed by rural people for rural people.

“Today, even though there are millions of rural people, it’s getting harder and harder to find anything that’s satisfying to these very folks that not only created the musical art form, they still love it and still perform it.”

Among other highlights, the Rural Roots Music Commission will award its CD of the Year award during the festival.

Everhart said only three rules apply during the festival, “no electric instruments, no drums and no alcohol.”

Tickets are available at the gate, four-day passes also are available at a reduced rate. Old-time dances will be held three nights.

Those attending are asked to bring a lawn chair for their own comfort.

RV camping is available on the grounds.

More information is available online at www.music-savers.com/festivals.

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