MOUNT VERNON – The 2017 Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival will be held in the streets of downtown Mount Vernon August 10th-13th, marking the 30th year for the event. The Festival’s mission is to “Celebrate the Legacy” of Dan Emmett. This homegrown musician, composer, and founder of minstrelsy tradition is known world-wide as the author of “Dixie.” Dan Emmett’s life and career is honored through a varied format of performing and creative artists on three stages and all along South Main Street for the enjoyment of Festival goers of all ages.
The Festival will open on Thursday with the 3-day Crafts & Trades Show with local merchants, vendors, crafters, and artisans displaying their wares. The Juried Fine Arts Show, featuring several well-known artisans, selected by a jury of their peers to assure the quality and originality of the arts products will also be on display. Senior citizens are invited to spend “A Day on the Square” with special entertainment beginning at lunchtime, with the Youth Showcase taking to the South Stage and various local youth performing on the Square. The afternoon will be filled with continuous activities and music for our honored seniors. A variety of historical figures will come to life in the evening with a Chautauqua series held at ThePlace@TheWoodward. The annual Cheer Competition will take place on South Main Street at 6:00 p.m., followed by the semi-final round of the Knox Idol competition at 7:30 p.m. on the South Stage. Come Dance to the Oldies with the Kokosing River Surf Club at 6:30 p.m. on the First-Knox Main Stage, followed by Phil Dirt & The Dozers at 8:30 p.m., the best rock ‘n’ roldies performers of all time.
On Friday some of the most talented young vocalists of Knox County will take the stage to compete in the Finals for the title of Knox Idol at 9 p.m on the First-Knox Main Stage. The 2017 awards will be presented to the audience’s choice in the teen and the young adult categories. The young adults will sing to snag the $1,000 prize. On the South Stage at 6:30 p.m., Elvis’ Lost Brother will get the audience all shook up, followed by the high energy, fun party roc-n-roll of King Darwin at 7:30 p.m.
The historic Woodward Opera House, America’s Oldest Authentic 19th Century Theater, is currently under construction, and is scheduled to open in early 2018. Special on site presentations will be available to bring visitors up to date on the project.
Saturday will be another fun-filled day in Downtown Mount Vernon, featuring performers from Knox County and the surrounding area. The ever-popular Fiddle, Banjo, and Flat-Pick Guitar Contests will bring burgeoning musicians from all over the Midwest. Many local singers and musicians will share their vocal and musical talent with the crowd throughout the afternoon.
The evening’s entertainment kicks off with Sugarcreek Bluegrass Band on the Main Stage, followed by the Festival Bell Auction. The 2017 Festival Bell honors the 125th anniversary of the Viaduct on Main Street in Mount Vernon. The country music ICON Lee Greenwood will step onto the stage at 9:30 p.m. to entertain young and old alike.
Rev your engines, because Sunday is all cars, trucks, and motorcycles. The day will start on the Square with a pancake breakfast from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. followed by a bluegrass worship service. At 12:00 p.m. in ThePlace@TheWoodward, we start off with Jamie Hershberger and at 1 p.m the best in praise and pure gospel music will fill the air with Rachel Rinehart & Kim Atkinson. The Motorcycle Show and Cruise-In will also be held on Sunday. The registration is from 10:00 am to 12:30 p.m., with an awards presentation at 3:00 p.m. The cars will line the streets to participate in the Antique and Classic Car Show, with the awards presentation for the favorites beginning at 4:00 p.m. EKG, Project Roundtable and the Shuman Band will play throughout the afternoon.
The Festival runs August 10th-13th in Downtown Mount Vernon with various activities each day. Preferred seating is available for a modest fee for those wishing guaranteed seating to the Lee Greenwood concert. For general information, contact the Festival at (740) 392-FEST (3378). For detailed scheduling information, visit the Festival website at www.DanEmmettFestival.org. The 2017 Dan Emmett Music & Art Festival is made possible by the generous contributions of Ariel Corporation and First-Knox National Bank.