Home / Nation / Oklahoma town doubles in population for Woody Guthrie fest

Oklahoma town doubles in population for Woody Guthrie fest

FILE – In this July 18, 2014 file photo, Jason Mraz performs on NBC’s “Today” show in New York. The Grammy winner is one of the starS that will be performing at the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival on Okemah, Okla., running July 11-15, 2018. Image: Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File

OKEMAH, Oklahoma — Woody Guthrie’s Oklahoma hometown has doubled in population as thousands gather for a music festival in honor of the “This Land Is Your Land” singer.

The Journal Record reports that the town of Okemah jumps from about 3,000 to 6,000 people during the annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival.

Performers this year include Grammy winner Jason Mraz, Oklahoma’s Turnpike Troubadours, and Annie Guthrie, daughter of Arlo Guthrie and the granddaughter of Woody Guthrie.

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Festival organizer Kay Thompson says it brings music fans from around the world to Okemah, about 70 miles (110 kilometers) east of Oklahoma City. Thompson says some come from as far away as Scotland and Australia.

Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen have cited Woody Guthrie as an influence.

This is the festival’s 21st year. It continues through Sunday. MKH

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