SWEET HOME - A steady stream of RVs rolled into Sweet Home Thursday in anticipation of the 15th Oregon Jamboree music festival that kicks off this afternoon and runs through Sunday.

Camping is an important element in the Jamboree's family-oriented atmosphere. For one weekend a year, elementary school playgrounds and grassy knolls are turned into campsites for everything from one-person tents to giant RVs.

The community's population of 8,200 residents will more than double when the 10,000-plus fans settle in behind Sweet Home High School to enjoy country music acts ranging from up and comers such as The Higgins to national stars including Dierks Bentley, Aaron Tippin, Trisha Yearwood, Neal McCoy and Jo Dee Messina.

Festival director Peter LaPonte credits more than 400 volunteers with making the event a success. Volunteers can be found doing everything from hosting campsites to delivering ice to concession stands to shuttling stars to and from the airport.

Several volunteers have been with the Jamboree since its inception and will be honored this weekend. The Jamboree functions with only a handful of paid staff members.

The Oregon Jamboree in Sweet Home was founded in 1992 as a vision by Marge Geil, a local businesswoman and member of the Sweet Home Economic Development Group Inc.

General admission tickets are still available at $75 per day for adults, or $115 for a three-day pass. $25 per day for children 7 to 12 years of age. 6 and under are free.

SCHEDULE

Today

Gates open at 1:30 p.m.

The Higgins, 3 p.m.

Riverbilly, 5 p.m.

Steve Holy, 7 p.m.

Dierks Bentley, 9:15 p.m.

Saturday

Gates open at 10:30 a.m.

Hal Ketchum, noon

Lorrie Morgan, 2 p.m.

Bucky Covington,

4:15 p.m.

Aaron Tippin, 6:30 p.m.

Trisha Yearwood,

8:45 p.m.

Sunday

Gates open at 10:30 a.m.

Dale Watson, noon

The Grascals, 2 p.m.

Neal McCoy, 4:15 p.m.

Jo Dee Messina, 6:30 p.m.

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