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Big Valley Jamboree returns to Camrose, Alta. after 3-year hiatus

Country music fans won’t have to wait much longer for the Big Valley Jamboree (BVJ). After three years, the celebration of all things country returns to Camrose, Alta., Thursday night.

“It’s a little surreal. I mean it’s been three years since we have been here,” BVJ digital media specialist Megan Benoit told Global News. “Just to be back — it feels like it’s been forever, but it feels like it’s yesterday.

“It feels like home.”

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Superstars Dallas Smith, Eric Church and Tim McGraw are the mainstage headliners for the weekend, with music starting Thursday night at the smaller saloon venue. Musicians from Alberta, Canada and international cities are featured throughout the festival.

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Camping is also returning to the Camrose Regional Exhibition Grounds, which plays host to the jamboree.

Gemma Gallant arrived on Thursday to take advantage of camping on site and said she’s looking forward to see Hardy on Saturday night.

Click to play video: 'Big Valley Jamboree is back!'

Big Valley Jamboree is back!

Big Valley Jamboree is back! – Apr 28, 2022

“Dying to see him and Lauren sing their song ‘One Beer.’ It’s going to be great,” Gallant said.

Catching up with old friends and meeting new ones is a draw to the campground for Gallant.

“We just hang out, chat with people, see what’s going on, play some games, and eat some food if someone is energetic enough to cook,” she said.

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Ron Moen and Carla Yamamoto have been coming to BVJ as a couple for a decade. The duo were excited for the end of the festival’s hiatus, for both the music and the people.

“People watching is like the best thing to do here,” Yamamoto said.

“We love the set up, when they come in with their trucks and trailers, and watching the rookies set up,” Moen said, whose first jamboree was in 1997. “We’ve seen it all over the years here.”

Benoit said previous years have seen thousands of people come out, and organizers expected another robust turnout. But she had some advice for any festival rookies.

“You can bring out a folding lawn chair with you. If you want to stand and dance all night, that’s an option, too.”

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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