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Music stars and locals alike to salute Merle Haggard

Music stars and locals alike to salute Merle Haggard
FILE - This Jan. 24, 2014, file photo shows country singer Merle Haggard during a rehearsal for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)
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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - Sunday is a big day for Bakersfield native and country music legend Merle Haggard.

Locals are holding fundraisers to move his boyhood boxcar home to the Kern County Museum. The same day, some of the biggest music stars on the planet are giving Haggard a nationally televised tribute.

And, the "Hag" turns 77.

MORE: Haggard's bio on Country Music Hall of Fame >>

The Caliente-based group Citizens Preserving History is working to move Haggard's childhood home in Oildale to Pioneer Village at the Kern County Museum. They plan a 1 p.m. plaque dedication at Bakersfield Harley-Davidson (on Merle Haggard Drive, appropriately) and a 3 p.m. birthday bash at the museum on Chester Avenue.

That night, a national TV audience will see Miranda Lambert and George Strait team for a tribute medley of Haggard's hits during the Academy of Country Music Awards. Garth Brooks will also present the singer-songwriter with the academy's Crystal Milestone Award.

Kern County residents can watch the ACM Awards at 8 p.m. on KBAK or gather at Bakersfield's Fox Theater to see the show on the big screen.

Both the birthday bash and ACM Awards watch party are free to attend.

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Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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