By Blair Thomas
It started as a two-hour afternoon of banjo-pickin’ on the square. Today, you’ll still find musicians huddled under shade trees with their instruments and friends, but the annual Uncle Dave Macon Days festival in Murfreesboro has grown to a three-day event complete with music and dancing competitions.
This year marks the 36th anniversary of the music festival, which honors Uncle Dave Macon, a master banjo player, an early Grand Ole Opry superstar and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame. The celebration includes national championship competitions in old-time banjo playing, clogging and buck dancing. It also celebrates musicians and members of the community who strive to keep the music style alive and bring banjo playing to new audiences. (Related: Sutton Ole Time Music Hour)
In addition to the music, visitors can enjoy Rutherford County, Tennessee‘s historic Cannonsburgh Pioneer Village, arts and crafts, food vendors, film and photo displays of Uncle Dave Macon, and children’s activities. Saturday morning hosts the Motorless Parade, a tribute to Macon, who made his living as a freight caller and refused to learn to drive a motorized vehicle.
The festival, July 12-14, 2013, costs $5 for a one-day pass (Friday or Saturday) or $8 for a two-day pass and begins at 10 a.m. For children 12 and under admission is free and there is no charge on Sunday, when gospel music and shape note singing will take the main stage. For more information about the man and the 36th annual Uncle Dave Macon Days, visit www.uncledavemacondays.com.