Today representatives of Uncle Dave Macon Days presented by Beaman Automotive Group and RAM Trucks announced the festival’s 2014 Trailblazer and Heritage Award winners at a press conference held at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce.
Grammy-nominated, three-time IBMA Entertainer of the Year, Dailey & Vincent were named as the Heritage Award winner for their efforts to preserve the styles of old-time music. Awardees are recognized Saturday night of the festival and act as the Grand Marshal for the motorless parade the Saturday morning.
"We're honored and humbled to be recognized for an American art form we both grew up loving and respecting. I feel unworthy of such an award as this; it’s a passion for the music that comes natural from my heart and soul,” said Darrin Vincent of Dailey & Vincent. “I’m proud to be a small part of promoting and educating new people the world round, and am very appreciative of your kindness you’re showing to Dailey & Vincent.”
Leroy Troy, Roland White, and The Tennessee Mafia Jug Band were collectively announced as the Trailblazer Award winner for this year’s festival. The Trailblazer Award recognizes artists for their contributions to old-time music through preservation and performance.
More than 25,000 people attended the festival in 2013, and Uncle Dave Macon Days organizers are looking to increase that number with new features at the 2014 event.
“Running the festival has become more like a business; it has become a corporation in some sense, but the balance of all that, in working out each detail, is remembering that you don’t have to be a star to be famous. That’s what Uncle Dave Macon Days is about. Everybody’s contribution matters,” said Gloria Christy, president of Uncle Dave Macon Days.
The Mathilda Macon Folks Art Village, named for Uncle Dave’s wife, was a new feature from 2013. This year the arts and crafts village will be adding more demonstrations and hands-on activities for children.
“Kids will be able to assemble a bird house with the woodworking association, or they can make a clay pot,” said Teresa Owen, vendor director for Arts and Crafts and Food for the festival.
In addition to the new children’s activities, Friday will be the last day of the Macon Music Education day camp, and campers will be attending the festival from 10 a.m. to noon.
“Friday is all about kids. We’ll be starting the competitions with the beginning instrumental and continue with the junior championships for buckdancing and clogging,” Christy said. “Kids will get to watch kids performing old-time stuff, and kids will perform for other kids in the audience.”
New festival gate times were also shared at the press conference. Gates will open at 8 a.m. Friday with the festival beginning at 10 a.m. Gates will open at 8 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday, with festival activities starting one hour later.
Sunday will also have extended hours, with activities from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We will have an extended and enhanced Sunday with big name acts and a new antique car show,” Christy said.
Also new for 2014 will be the addition of food trucks representing the Nashville Food Truck Association, who will be selling meals and snacks along side the returning food vendors.
Christy announced RAM Trucks as the first national sponsor of the festival. RAM will join other returning sponsor, including, Beaman Automotive, Wilson Bank & Trust, Murfreesboro Parks & Recreation, Ole South Properties, Shacklett’s Photography, Ready Set Rutherford and Barker & Christol Advertising.