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New Manatee County festival features rock, country stars

The organizers of a new musical festival scheduled for March 20-22 in Manatee County say that they'll announce a "superstar headliner" in a few weeks. But the acts they've already announced are impressive enough.

The festival is called Ranch Jam 2015. It'll be held on 2,000-acre working ranch on County Road 675.

The festival was announced Tuesday, along with most of the acts on the lineup. They include Jeff Cook (of the band Alabama) and his Allstar Goodtime Band, The Guess Who, Neal McCoy, Rick Derringer, Molly Hatchet, Kat Crosby Band, Restless Heart, the Backtrack Blues Band, the Jake Castro Band and tribute bands Highway to Hell and Hotel California. Celebrity impersonator Las Vegas Larry the Cable Guy will be the emcee.

That "superstar headliner" will be announced Feb. 26.

Besides the music, the festival offers camping, food and craft vendors, beer and wine, a kid's zone and a VIP area with food, premium seating and air-conditioned bathrooms.

Details: March 20-22, County Road 675 between State Road 70 and State Road 64, across from Hunsader's Farm. Tickets: $45 per day; kids under 12 are free with an adult. Multi-day, VIP tickets $150-$500. Information: 941-567-94277, ranchjam.net.

-- Marty Clear

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