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Memories of WE Fest past are captured in the buttons that date back 30 years. Photo by - Brian Basham

From upstart to biggest in the country

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Thirty years ago, as organizers were preparing for the inaugural WE Fest country music festival at Detroit Lakes' Soo Pass Ranch, the fact that they had managed to book one of the hottest bands in the business at that time -- Alabama -- was met with much skepticism.

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To alleviate all doubt, the band actually drove its tour bus up and down Detroit Lakes' main street, speakers blasting from the roof and inviting everyone to come see them perform at the festival.

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