What is the Great Big Yam Potatoes Old Time Music Gathering all about?
The Mississippi Fiddlers Association is for anyone interested in old time fiddle music and enjoy being a part of the Tradition. This totally free annual gathering is held at Historic Jefferson College in Washington, Mississippi, Capital of the Old Territory. Washington is located on the famous highway 61 just north of Natchez, Mississippi .
Historic Jefferson College is a grand site for Old Time Music. Resplendent antique live oaks with Spanish moss frame the federal style colonial school buildings, which sit on thirty acres. The drive way is sentinel with oaks called the Aaron Burr Oaks, and one may find the answer to the name inside the museum building.
The fiddle contest will be held in the main building starting at nine o’clock on Saturday morning. While the contestants must pay a fee to participate, the organizers try to keep the registration fees very reasonable.
Contestants in the pee-wee (1-11) age group will play one tune of choice in the old-time style.
Contestants in the junior (12-17) age group will play two tunes (dance tune and a waltz) in the old-time style.
Contestants in the senior (18 & over) age group will play tunes in two rounds. See the contest rules and forms for the latest information.
Fiddlers who wish to play but not be judged must pay a 100% non-judging fee (we reserve the right to increase this fee as needed).
Currently, the Mississippi Fiddlers Association is offering cash awards for first and second place in each tune category. All monies used for these awards are donated. We are currently seeking donations in order to offer a third place also.
One night during the festival there is most always a Dance at the main building. Previous callers include Rhonda Webb and Catherine Bishop, TCRG. Live music will be played and good times are encouraged. If the spirit moves a person, dancing is allowed all weekend.
The Main Stage is outside in front of the buildings. Entertainment will be scheduled all morning and afternoon.
Jamming on the old tunes will commence a little while after the first people get there Friday and will continue until a few minutes before the last people leave Sunday.
A local vender will be onsite vendor selling lunch. If you need breakfast or supper, Natchez is a short drive away. The Mississippi Fiddlers Association will most likely have water and some soft drinks available for a nominal fee.
The college grounds will be available for campers/jammers starting Friday evening. The camping will be primitive, so bring everything you need. There are three fire pits for cooking, a picnic area, and parking area. Camping till Sunday is available and encouraged. If you have an RV or would like to stay in a cabin, there are 50 full hookup sites and 10 cabins available in close by Natchez State Park.
What can I do for Big Yams?:
Once again, there are no admission fees for attending Big Yams, but it can not be put on for free. If you would care to be one of the ones helping to financially sponsor Big Yams please make your checks out to Mississippi Fiddlers Association and send them to April Palmer, 120 Sunnycrest Drive, Ridgeland, Mississippi. 39157.
If you don't have any excess funding streams but would still like to help us out, we will be glad to take volunteer labor too.
Sum it up for us:
Big Yam Potatoes is a weekend dedicated to old time fiddle music. Saturday there will be a fiddle competition and music on the grounds all day. One night there might be a big dance. There will be a certain amount of jamming starting some time Friday until it breaks up Sunday. If you come you will hear fiddles and banjos playing in the old style. What it is not, is a slick, fancy festival that costs a lot of money, but, because is a free festival you have to be prepared to find yo’ own or bring what you need. Most of all, have a good time.
This site was last updated 04/11/15