Andrew Kent / Retna Digital
Andrew Kent / Retna Digital

WILKESBORO, N.C. (AP) -- Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Travis Tritt are among the many acts performing at this year's MerleFest in the North Carolina mountains.

The 22nd annual festival opens Thursday and continues through Sunday at Wilkes Community College in northwest North Carolina.

Folk great Doc Watson is also scheduled to perform. The festival was named in honor of Watson's late son, Merle Watson, who died in a tractor accident in 1985 at age 36.

The event celebrates traditional music in many forms. Ronstadt, for example, will perform mariachi songs in Spanish.

Several bluegrass artists will also perform, including the Del McCoury Band, Jerry Douglas, Sam Bush, Peter Rowan, The Grascals, Dailey & Vincent, Mountain Heart with Tony Rice and more.

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