WHAT’S NEW AT THE 39TH ANNUAL UNCLE DAVE MACON DAYS FESTIVAL
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — Grab your banjos and shine your dancin’ shoes– the 39th Annual Uncle Dave Macon Days old-time music and dance festival is set to kick off July 8th, 9th, in Cannonsburgh Village located in historic Murfreesboro, Tennessee. With a 1.2 million dollar local impact, the festival held in the heart of Tennessee is considered one of America’s premier summer festivals. The family-oriented event annually gathers more than 25,000 people to Murfreesboro for a hearty helping of fun, southern style. Slated as one of the most dynamic music festivals in the Southeast, Uncle Dave Macon Days was selected by the Atlanta-based Southeast Tourism Society as one of the Top 20 events in the Southeast in 2015. Uncle Dave Macon Days was designated as one of the best festivals in Middle Tennessee by the Tennessee Magazine.
Uncle Dave Macon Days is a musical festival which honors traditional American music and the career of the first superstar of the Grand Ole Opry and Country Music Hall of Famer, Uncle Dave Macon. The event began as a one-day pickin’ banjo contest, the brainchild of Murfreesboro businessman, Jesse Messick, who wanted to have an event to attract business into the downtown area. For almost 40 years, this down-home, shade-tree pickin’ festival has evolved into the National Championships for Old-time Banjo and Old-Time Clogging and Buckdancing as designated by the US Congress in 1986.
The festival also features and honors individuals who have had a life-time career perpetuating and promoting traditional “roots” music with the presentation of the Uncle Dave Macon Days Heritage Award. In addition, the Uncle Dave Macon Trail Blazer Award is given to true innovators, honoring old and new artists in bluegrass and old-time. Past award winners have been such notables like Bill Monroe, Roy Acuff, Marty Stuart, Grandpa and Romana Jones, Mike Seeger, Bashful Brother Oswald, Earl Scruggs, Ricky and Sharon Skaggs, Dailey and Vincent, the Tennessee Mafia Jug Band, Ralph Stanley, and The SteelDrivers.
New for 2016 is an event that will certainly thrill young and old alike—the attempt to break the Guinness record for the World’s Largest Square Dance. On the evening of July 7th, a true Tennessee favorite will be introduced on the Public Square in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with Marcia Campbell from Grand Ole Opry Dancers and WSM650. According to the State of Tennessee, the square dance is the official dance of Tennessee, but the record for the World’s Largest Square Dance is now held in Illinois. This free event on the opening day will kick-off Uncle Dave Macon Days 2016 and bring the event back to the Square where it all began nearly 40 years ago drawing thousands.
At Cannonsburgh on Friday, July 8th, Uncle Dave Macon Days Music and Arts Festival officially begins and continues through Saturday evening, July 8th with the best in entertainment and National Competitions in Old Time Music and Dance. On July 8th at 7 pm will feature the 2016 Trail Blazer Award presentation and performance of “The Boxcars” and the following evening Saturday, July 9th with the presentation and performance of the 2016 Heritage Award winner, the legendary, beloved “Doyle Lawson and Quick Silver”.
Throughout the festival’s national competitions are the best in old-time music and dance with participants here locally, across the nation, and worldwide. There will be other performances highlighting Friday evening – Flatt Lonesome and the Grascals and Saturday evening will feature Church Sisters and Lonesome River Band.
Continuing to be a favorite is one of Tennessee’s authentic the –Motorless Parade, complete with buggies and wagons which makes its way down historic Main Street to Cannonsburgh at 10 am, on Saturday morning, July 9th. Other family-oriented events taking place throughout the festival include: heritage activities for children, mouth-watering local concessions, a juried arts and crafts show in Matilda Macon’s Artisan Village, Dave Macon’s Marketplace, and a historic photo exhibit.
The celebration takes place in Cannonsburgh, a genuine pioneer village. Cannonsburgh Village is located at 312 South Front Street in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Murfreesboro is 30 minutes southeast of Nashville on Interstate 24. The village is home to more than 20 restored log structures and will feature living history demonstrations during the weekend. Visit a working blacksmith or join in with some old-fashioned shape-note singing in the little white church.