(SHELBYVILLE) The first annual Macon, Music and Mules is in the books, and coordinators say the marriage was a success! The four-day (Sept. 28-Oct. 1, 2023) festival was held in the Cooper Steel Arena at the Walking Horse Show Grounds in neighboring Shelbyville.
Uncle Dave Macon Days Pesident Gloria Christy noted, "This venue offered a combination of a large outdoor show area as well as huge indoor arena. We were ready for sunshine or a torrential downpour."
American Mule and Music Director Marty Gordon explained, “Teaming up with Uncle Dave Macon Days enhanced the entire festival experience by educating the public about old-time traditions in a fun way. As we explore our future, together we can teach the old way of life, mules, and homestead skills. The partnership between American Mule and Music Association and Uncle Dave Macon Days produced a successful festival in 2023."
Christy commented, "You don't know what's missing until you experience it. Macon, Music and Mules was filled with spontaneous laughter that emerged from the crowd. Being a part of creating 'joy' is why organizers continue year after year.”
On Friday night, Uncle Shuffelo and His Haint Hollow Hootenanny entertained the crowd with authentic string band sounds.
Saturday Night featured a lively performance from the jug band, Jake Leg Stompers. They joined the prestigious hall of fame recipients like Ricky Skaggs, Bill Monroe, Marty Stuart, and Roy Acuff.
The Jake Leg Stompers were awarded the 2023 Uncle Dave Macon Days Heritage Award for a lifetime of preservation and continuation of roots music in the style of Uncle Dave Macon.
Gordon said, "The blending of the mule competition and music created a unique destination event. Fans young and old experienced the rich nostalgia of the rural roots of Middle Tennessee."
Gloria Christy concluded, “Over the past forty plus years, Uncle Dave Macon Days has been committed to preserving and perpetuating the roots music story through the festival and an on-going educational program with the community. Teaming up with the American Mule and Music Association is a positive initiative that made the preservation dream come true.”
Plans are already coming together for 2024's Macon, Music and Mules in neighboring Shelbyville. For more information, visit their website: www.maconmusicandmules.com