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26th annual Targhee Bluegrass Festival wraps up

Sunday was the last day of the 26th annual Targhee Bluegrass Festival in Alta, Wyo.

Garret Owens came from North Carolina to take in the festival.

“I haven’t been able to wipe this smile off my face that’s for sure,” said Owens.

He said this experience might have him back next summer for more.

“It couldn’t be any better. Those bands last night were rocking it,” said Owens.

And that’s music to Tom Garnsey’s ears. He’s been booking the festival’s bands for 16 years.

“It’s an extremely easy festival to book, because once someone has played here they never say no,” said Garnsey.

He said with the rise of bands like Mumford and Sons, and this year’s headliner Trampled by Turtles, bluegrass is picking up.

“There’s a lot of young people coming to these festivals that four or five years ago, they would have never thought it,” said Garnsey.

Ken Rider, Grand Targhee Resort’s director of marketing and sales, said the ticket sales reflect it. They sold out of weekend passes weeks ago.

“Yesterday we had a huge walk-up crowd for Trampled by Turtles and other artists yesterday,” said Rider.

People are coming for more than just music.

“There’s a plethora of outdoor activity. There’s fly-fishing, rafting and canoeing,” said Rider. “You name it, we can probably do it up here.”

Many people are sleeping outdoors as well. Approximately 1,000 people are camping at the festival.

Next year’s festival is set for Aug. 8-10.

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