Celebrating The Fourth At OATS Festival

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BENTON---On the Benton Rodeo grounds, dozens celebrated the Fourth of July with friends, camping and some bluegrass.

People are gathered for the 14th annual OATS Festivals, the Out Among the Stars bluegrass event.

'We`re off the roads, it`s safe, we`re with people who are like us, they follow this music too and it`s a great way to celebrate the fourth, the concert area is beautiful, it`s all decorated with flowers," said Donna Lee of Newfoundland.

Flags are flying on the grounds, on trailers and near tents.

A Marine who fought during the Korean conflict sat with his friend Thursday morning, playing a patriotic song.

"We enjoy playing, jamming together," said Larry Eckert of Newport.

"This is my 14th year here, yeah. I`ve never missed a year here, this festival started on a farm down below Jerseytown 14 years ago and that`s when I started coming," said Gene Dobbs of Mosquito Valley near Williamsport.

On perhaps the most patriotic campsite of all, Cindy Miklos showed off her collection of all things American.

"I collect all kind of 4th of July stuff, I collect knickknacks, this is my own personal theory is that Santa during the summer is Uncle Sam and this is a transitional piece where he is thinning down a little bit," she said, showing here patriotic Santa figurine.

Meanwhile, Dan Hubbard of Jerseytown, drove his specially decorated cart, complete with several Amerian flags, saying hello to friends on the campground.

"I love it, this is the place to be, every Fourth of July, yeah," he said.

The festival in Benton runs through Sunday.