GUTHRIE, Okla. (KFOR) — Beyond the downtown traffic, after the cicadas of summer and even the crickets of September, the sounds along Cottonwood Creek in October bring a different tune to the cooler air.

It happens every year at this time.

No sooner do the trailers start pulling into the campground here for the International Bluegrass Festival, than instruments emerge from cases and songs like “Caroline the Baker” start filling the air like the smell of fresh bread.

“The music starts at sun-up and goes well past sundown,” says Festival Director Susan Tate.

We’ve been here in years past to talk a little and listen a lot.

Tate’s experience here goes back a decade, singing a little, and listening a lot as well.

This is her first year to run things, telling thousands of music fans where to save their spots and hundreds of musicians where they can set up to play.

“Right here is where the stage is going to be,” she points.

Bluegrass is a simple music.

Conducting an international festival like this is more like a symphony.

“We have between 400 and 450 volunteers,” she says. “So it’s pretty amazing how the whole thing comes together.”

Susan and everyone else here stand on the shoulders of the man who started this festival.

Byron Berline has been gone more than two years now, but people still come.

If you’ve ever listened to a waltz or dance to one, you know they have their own kind of momentum.

The musicians might change but someone is always around to pick up the melody and put their own spin on it.

That’s what makes this kind of gathering so fun, and why it shows not sign of stopping, as long as there’s still a spot of shade along the banks of Cottonwood Creek.


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