Its roots are as deep as the spirit of America, and its sounds were heard through the halls of the Museum for East Texas Culture as the dulcimer and old time music took front and center.

Whether people were jamming with their favorite instrument or just listening, Palestine’s Old Time Music and Dulcimer Festival is quickly becoming a local tradition — both for the musicians who headline the event and for the people who attend.

“I always see lots of friendly faces,” said musician Carl Jones during the Friday evening concert. “This is just a nice family atmosphere.”

That type of atmosphere has proven to be a big draw for the dulcimer festival. Since the festival began on Thursday, the museum and the surrounding area has been full of people, museum board president Charlotte Whitaker said.

“Our phone has been ringing off the hook since Thursday,” Whitaker said. “We’ve had people from as far away as Utah coming here. We’ve also had people from Kansas and Missouri.

“It’s just been amazing,” she added.

The annual festival, which is organized by old time music enthusiast Jerry Wright and his wife Margaret, provides artists and people who just enjoy that genre of music an outlet to get together and experience it together.

“I love this festival and I think it’s one of the greatest,” Wright said.

There’s something different for those attending this year.

During tonight’s concert, which is set to begin at 7 p.m. there will be a dance midway through the concert, Whitaker said, which will be done like a Civil War-era dance which will begin around 8:20 p.m.

For more information about the festival at 903-723-1914.

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