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Fans are pumped up for WE Fest weekend in Detroit Lakes

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One of the largest country music festivals of the summer, WE Fest, gets underway Thursday in the Detroit Lakes area in northwestern Minnesota, and fans are already pumped up.

The annual music and camping festival, which runs through Saturday at Soo Pass Ranch, attracts about 45,000 fans each year. It competes with the 4th of July for the biggest business period of the year for the area's economy, according to the Fargo Forum.

This year’s WE Fest actually got started Wednesday night with a kick-off party, and begins in earnest Thursday with headliners Rascal Flatts and Hank Williams Jr. – whose last performance at WE Fest was 20 years ago.

Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton, who recently divorced after four years of marriage, are among the other major acts playing this weekend.

Lambert is the Friday night headliner and Shelton is scheduled to perform Saturday night.

The complete lineup is on the festival's website.

At last year's WE Fest, a Minnesota teenager got the thrill of a lifetime when he was invited to join his idol, Brad Paisley, on stage.

Dan Brekke went on Twitter this week to see if he could make it on stage two years in a row. Paisley isn't performing this year, but he's looking at Blake Shelton this time.

Getting there and getting around

Driving to and from Detroit Lakes over the weekend will likely challenge your patience.

The Minnesota Department of Transportation warns drivers that Highway 10 will be reduced to one lane in each direction between Highway 59 and the airport on the far west side of town.

With big crowds and a large festival site and campgrounds, it can be a challenge to get around and keep track of friends. WE Fest has developed a new smartphone app that will make it much easier to navigate, Detroit Lakes Online reports. You can download the app from the WE Fest website.

Ready for next year?

While this year’s WE Fest is barely underway, tickets already went on sale last month for next year’s festival, although no headliners have been announced yet.

John Gourley, chief marketing officer, told Detroit Lakes Online that some of the performers for the 2016 WE Fest will likely be announced during this weekend's festival.

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