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It's been a long battle to establish Merritt as the home of the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, but the pieces are all falling nicely into place.

Ron Sanders, President of the Merritt Walk Of Stars Society says the opening date is now set for the evening of Wednesday, July 6.

Contact Carol Madryga if you would like to be a part of the team at 378-5895.

Sanders will represent Merritt at the upcoming Canadian Country Music Association awards in Hamilton and also represent the Walk of Stars and Merritt at the Calgary Stampede this year.

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After performing as the opening act for Emerson Drive earlier this spring, Ridley Bent is now opening for Montgomery Gentry in two weeks in Merritt.

The 2009 CCMA nominee and 7-time BCCMA winner rounds out a star studded four day Mountainfest from July 7 to 10, being slotted in just ahead of Montgomery Gentry, the headliners on Saturday night.

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The Great Canadian Bike Rally is looming and people are expected from all over Western Canada to visit Merritt for this year's inaugural event.

Organizer Mike Fairfield says people need to keep in mind that although it is a motorcycle rally, it's also primarily a fund raiser for B-C Children's Hospital and the Circle Square Ranch Children's Fund.

Go to greatcanadianbikerally.com or call 378-5553 to speak to anyone about volunteering.

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It's well documented that July will be a busy month in Merritt with the Mountainfest, Great Canadian Bike Rally and the 100th anniversary celebrations for the city, but August sees the momentum carry through.

Mayor Susan Roline says a two week stay by the Vancouver Soaring Club for events in and around the Merritt airport are good for the city too.

About 100 people associated with the Soaring Club will be here from August 6-21.

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With Mountainfest just over two weeks away, there's still one hole in the roster of stars as Saturday night still needs a main stage act before Montgomery Gentry.

Claude Lelievre, President of Active Mountain Entertainment, says it's not a concern and the spot will be filled by an artist that is traveling near B-C who can fit the date into their itinerary.

Other headliners for Mountainfest include Vince Gill, Dierks Bentley, Aaron Pritchett, Crystal Shawanda and Joe Nichols. Sunday's legends include Crystal Gayle and Ray Price.

Information is available at http://www.mountainfest.com

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