The Group Travel Leader

MAR 2017

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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Page 41 of 67

M A R C H 2 0 1 7 4 2 A M E R I C A ' S C R O S S R O A D S Stillwater, Oklahoma As a genre, red dirt music is sometimes difficult to define, but there is no question that it holds its roots in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Featuring a blend of rock, folk, country and blues, red dirt music developed during the late 1970s when a group of college students rented an old country house just outside town commonly known as "The Farm." They began hosting jam sessions with their friends on the porch or in the garage, which they called "The Gypsy Café." Before long, The Farm became a haven for young artists to gather and experiment with their craft, and red dirt music was born. From this dynamic community emerged acclaimed musicians like John Cooper, a member of the Red Dirt Rangers band, and Bob Childers, later known as the "godfather of red dirt music." "Their inf luence is still felt throughout our culture in Stillwater, from acoustic sets in little coffee shops to big-name events," said Kylie Vincent, vice president at Visit Stillwater. Each spring, the city hosts the Bob Childers Gypsy Café event, named after the garage where red dirt music first thrived. More than 60 musicians perform at three separate venues in Stillwater in celebra- tion of Bob Childers' legacy. Ticket proceeds go to the Red Dirt Relief Fund, which helps support musicians in need. w w w .vi s i t s t ill w a t e r. o r g Courtesy Visit Stillwater Stillwater is the capital of Oklahoma's Red Dirt Music movement. B I G R I V E R C R O S S I N G Arkansas r velers to West Memphis, Ark ns , c nnot miss the milelong Big River Crossing Bridge, which debuted this p st ctober s the lon- gest pedestri nd bicycle bridg cross the Mississippi River. It st rted ou m in to m in" project, connecting the two downtown r s of West Memphis, Ark ns nd Memphis, Tennessee, nd is now considered n intern tion l ttr ction. As of mid- ovember, more t n 80,000 people ve used the bridge. W t m kes the bo rdw lk so unusu l is t t it runs long the 100-ye r-old H r n r ilro d bridge. According to Jim J ckson, executive directo t the West Memphi ffice of Tourism, visitor n now "experience views t t most peopl ve never seen of one of the most well- known rivers in the world." At night, the bridge sp rkles to life with 100,000 progr mmed LED lights t t often synchronize with music or fireworks. W W W . W E S T M E M P H I S . O R G , WOW. Vi s it C h e rok e eNat ion.c om © 2017 Cherokee Nation Businesses. All Rights Reserved.

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