Tara Oram grew up listening to country music.

“My parents were huge fans and introduced me to the true greats of country music like Dwight Yoakam,” said the singer, who came in sixth on Canadian Idol three years ago.

It opened a lot of doors, she said. Named the winner of the Canadian Country Music Awards Rising Star award, Oram, now 26, is working on her second album.

And this summer, Oram’s dream becomes a reality as she will not only get to meet, but share a stage with her idol, legendary singer Yoakam, at the first-ever Capital Hoedown, to be held Aug. 5-7 at the Rideau Carleton Entertainment Centre.

The festival, which features headliners Alan Jackson on Aug. 5, Dwight Yoakam on Aug. 6, and Vince Gill on Aug. 7, also includes Lorrie Morgan, Jo Dee Messina, Bucky Covington, Oram herself, and other singers to be announced.

“This festival is going to fill a void in the Ottawa community,” said festival promoter Denis Benoit, of Concert International.

“We feel there is a lack of a multi-day, multi-band country music festival for country fans and Capital Hoedown aspires to become that event.”

The festival is expecting about 20,000 people a day for the event, said Benoit.

Oram believes the festival will do well here.

“Country music in Ottawa is huge,” she said. “It’s like being in Nashville or Calgary. There’s a huge fan base here for sure. Country fans are the best. They’re very loyal, they stick with you for life and they know how to party.”

Tickets go on sale this Friday at capitalhoedown.com or in person at the Rideau Carleton Entertainment Centre or CD Warehouse locations and cost $225 for a VIP pass, $125 for a three-day pass and $65 for a single day ticket.

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