NEW SALEM, N.D. (KXNET) — For the fifth year, the region’s biggest country music festival started Wednesday. The four-day event features a variety of country artists and vendors.

Hundreds of campers filed into New Salem where the world’s largest Holstein cow, Salem Sue, calls home. ND Country Fest kicked off in the small town.

Locash is the first headliner taking the stage Wednesday, followed by Chris Janson on Thursday, Travis Tritt on Friday and Jon Pardi on Saturday.

With every year that passes, the festival keeps growing in crowd numbers, volunteers and sponsors.

“It’s a whole community of sponsors to make this thing happen,” said Brandon Ralph, ND Country Fest owner. “We appreciate everyone, and everyone plays a separate role in making this come full circle, and we couldn’t do it without our staff or our sponsors.”

The concerts are not the only attraction at the festival. The event also offers many food vendors, craft vendors and the state’s largest cornhole tournament.

This year, they’re expecting to see about 40,000 people come.

“People come for the music, but they stay for the experience. They come from all over,” said Luke Shafer, ND Country Fest owner and founder. “They’re like, ‘Man, North Dakota is so nice. It’s so clean. It’s so great, it’s kind of the hidden gem of the Midwest,'” said Shafer.

The culture at ND Country Fest is professional, clean, safe and fun for the whole family to enjoy.

“There’s a lot of fun things to do out here. And I think everyone just comes out here, puts a smile on, listens to good music and enjoys the experience,” said Ralph.

Rain or shine, thousands of people from all over the United States come to New Salem for the ND Country Fest. Not only to enjoy the concerts and vendors, but to enjoy the beauty of North Dakota.