• 41°

Fiddlers ready for battle at Historic Jefferson College

NATCHEZ — The Mississippi Fiddlers Association will hold its 2018 “Great Big Yam Potatoes Old-Time Music Gathering and Fiddle Contest” at Historic Jefferson College in Natchez on Saturday.  This family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday with a showing of the new documentary, “Great Big Yam Potatoes: The Film” by Dean Blackwell, Allen Blackwell, and Damien Blaylock.  Then, at 6 p.m., there will be a potluck dinner on the grounds featuring open mic performances.

Live acoustic music begins at 9 a.m. Saturday with performances by fiddler Jack Magee and friends, Old-Time band The Magnolia Hillbillies, early Americana duo Hal and Connie Jeanes, clawhammer banjo master Johnny Rawls, the New Orleans Shanty Krewe, and others.

Also featured this year is Madison storyteller Lizzie Turner, telling tales for adults and children starting at 11:45 a.m. in the main building.

The ever-popular fiddle contest begins in the main building at 10 a.m Saturday.  Musicians come from across the country to vie for the top spot.  Fiddle players age 17 and under play first.   Excitement builds as senior fiddlers, age 18 and older, compete after lunch.  Cash prizes will be awarded to the top fiddlers in each division. Find up-to-date rules, registration information and an event schedule on Facebook.

“My family looks forward to this event every year,“ said artist David Morgan. “Spending the day in such a beautiful place listening to some of the best old-time musicians around – you can’t beat it.”  Morgan designed this year’s event poster featuring Tishomingo County fiddle, John Alexander Brown.  Great Big Yam Potatoes posters and t-shirts will be for sale in the main building.

At noon, Aunt Suzie’s Catering of Natchez will sell delicious hot plate lunches on Saturday. The public is invited to picnic under the 300-year old oaks.  Water and soft drinks will be available for sale.  Public restrooms are available.  This is an alcohol-free event.

Primitive camping for participating musicians is available Friday and Saturday night.

For more information, contact:  Robert Gray, Mississippi Fiddlers Association, Wurzburg58@gmail.com, 601-506-6561, or the staff of Historic Jefferson College, 601-442-2901.  You can also find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ GreatBigYamPotatoes.