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Great Big Yam Potatoes event set for this weekend

By Christian Coffman

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Locals in the mood for bluegrass music and an old-fashioned barn dance can find both this weekend at Historic Jefferson College.

The Great Big Yam Potatoes Old-Time Music Gathering and Fiddle Contest will begin at 6 p.m. Friday on the old campus grounds.

The free event, sponsored by the Mississippi Fiddler’s Association, is open to the public and will feature traditional Mississippi string band music.

“This is our 10th year of showcasing Mississippi’s fiddlers who are carrying on this tradition of old-time fiddle music,” MFA president Robert Gray said.

Gray said he and the association were honored to receive a bicentennial grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council to help with funding.

“The public is invited to Mississippi’s birthplace to dance, listen, picnic or join an old-time jam,” he said.

A potluck dinner on the grounds will be at 6 p.m. Friday, followed by an old-fashioned barn dance at 7 p.m., featuring dance caller Bridget Edwards and fiddle music by Jack Magee.

A flag raising ceremony followed by live acoustic music begins at 9 a.m. Saturday.

Historic Jefferson College Site Director Robin Person said the contest always popular.

“This is always one of our favorite events of the year, for both me and my staff,” Person said. “It’s very time appropriate for the historic setting.”

Despite a chance of showers, Person said the staff is expecting a big turnout.

“If it rains, the show goes on, we’d just move everything inside into the historic west wing,” Person said. 

Aunt Suzie’s Catering of Natchez will sell hot plate lunches at noon on Saturday.

Free primitive camping will be available for participating musicians on both nights.

Person said the event is a great, day-long, free family event and she recommends attendees to bring a chair, blanket and some bug spray.

“If you enjoy bluegrass music then you’ll enjoy this event,” Person said.

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