Backyard BBQ Fest is going country this year.

Officials gathered on Thursday at Oglebay's Camp Russel amphitheater to unveil this year's headliner, platinum country music phenomenon Rodney Atkins.

. It's a departure from the previous two years, when '90s hitmakers the Gin Blossoms and Collective Soul headlined the popular new festival.

"We're very excited to change up the genre this year," says Bob Peckenpaugh, President and CEO of the Wheeling Park Commission.

 "It appears to be a current trend in the entertainment industry. Country has really taken off, and we're thrilled to be a part of it.

Oglebay's Backyard BBQ will be held on May 24-26 at the Levenson Shelter, which is immediately past the Good Zoo.

Three years ago, the adjacent Camp Russel site was transformed into a vast outdoor amphitheater to accommodate the festival's headliner.

"We brainstormed with Oglebay for several months before we came up with this idea to have a barbecue festival," said Gary Glessner of The Glessner Group,

which collaborated with Oglebay to establish the event and has sponsored it year after year. "

"We had some different ideas to have something similar to OglebayFest, but we wanted it to kick off the summer and have it in late spring."

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