A girl competes in one of the many dance competitions on July 11, 2011, during the annual Uncle Dave Macon Days festival in Murfreesboro, Tenn. This year marks the 36th anniversary of the event. (TMP File Photo)
The twang of banjo and squeal of fiddle will soon have hands clapping and toes tapping for the 36th annual Uncle Dave Macon Days, set for Friday, July 12, through Sunday, July 14, at Cannonsburgh Village in Murfreesboro.
Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White, this year’s Heritage Award winners, will highlight the three-day, old-time music festival that features contests in music, dance and arts, as well as craft demonstrations and much more.
Admission for all musical performances, including the headlining duo Skaggs and White and activities, is only $5 for attendees 12 years old and older for Friday and Saturday, with Sunday being free for all ages.
The multi-Grammy Award winner Skaggs and White will perform for festival attendees at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 13, on the main stage after acting as the grand marshals of the motorless parade down East Main and Broad streets at 10 a.m.
“We are so excited to have Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White as our 2013 Heritage Award winners. Having that caliber of talent is really going to launch Uncle Dave Macon Days to the next level,” said Gloria Christy, president of the festival’s board and longtime organizer. “People just can’t believe that they will be able to see the performance for only $5.”
“Ricky Skaggs has even written a song about Uncle Dave, which he will perform during the festival,” she added.
The 2013 Trailblazer Award will recognize the legendary Grand Ole Opry duo Sam and Kirk McGee for their contributions to the old-time music style. Members of the McGee and Macon-Doubler families will reunite during the annual Uncle Dave Macon Days festival as well. A tribute performance will be presented at 7 p.m. Friday, July 12.
Festivalgoers can enjoy the new Matilda Macon Folk Arts Village, located inside Cannonsburgh, which celebrates craft artisans displaying wares and demonstrating a variety of arts and skills. The demonstrators are sponsored by a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. As Matilda Macon, Uncle Dave’s wife, was a quilter, this new feature pays homage to her own craft and love of the arts.
“From live soap-making to woodworking, quilting to making pottery, the Matilda Macon Folk Arts Village will showcase traditional arts and crafts through demonstrations and displays,” said Teresa Owen, who coordinates the festival’s arts and crafts. “Families used to use what they had to get by, and today we celebrate their way of life as folk art.”
When the gates open at 10 a.m. on opening day, attendees can also enjoy the brand new Dave Macon Daze Band live on the main stage.
The music festival is the setting for the international championships in buck-dancing, clogging and banjo-picking. Approximately $10,000 in prize money will be distributed in various categories of music and dance contests.
Families won’t want to miss the kids activities, food vendors, craft booths, and impromptu jam sessions that pop up with musicians from all over the world, many who have never met or only come together during Uncle Dave Macon Days.
Closing out the event on the last day, the festival will showcase gospel and shape-note singing, as well as a community services fair with local nonprofit and charity organizations.
The old-time music festival is presented by Beaman Automotive Group, a longtime sponsor committed to making Uncle Dave Macon Days the greatest music festival in the Southeast each year.
Wilson Bank & Trust, the legacy sponsor, is a new sponsor who shares in the organizing committee’s dedication to celebrating old time Americana and bluegrass music, in addition to the heritage surrounding the music.
Cannonsburgh Historic Village is located at 312 S. Front St. near downtown Murfreesboro.