Big Muddy Festival — April 1–2, 2011

Join us this weekend for the twentieth annual Big Muddy Festival on Main and Vine in Boonville, Missouri. Instead of our regular MMTD dance, we will be dancing Friday night in gorgeous Turner Hall—after the concert. Jim Thaxter will be calling, and various performers will provide the music. For the festival this year, Cathy and Dave are bringing back some favorites and some newcomers to celebrate some of the great variety of musical styles of “folk.”

The festival opens at 7:00 p.m. on Friday with a concert at Thespian Hall, featuring Paul Fotsch, Cathy Barton and Dave Para, Karen Mueller, and Phyllis Dale and the Rain Dogs. After the concert, everyone is invited to go across the street to Turner Hall for an old-time dance. Depending on who shows up, you can expect to dance some squares, some contras, and possibly some longways sets like the Virginia Reel.

Saturday workshops begin at 10:00 a.m. and continue through the day. Topics include mountain dulcimer, hammered dulcimer, jug band, cowboy poetry, autoharp, gospel singing, and songs of the civil war, along with jam sessions and song swaps. The Daughters of the American Revolution will also be having a quilt show from 1:00 p.m. to 6:30  p.m. on Saturday. Throughout the festival, artisans will be selling their ware at Turner Hall, musicians will have CDs for sale, and there will be a raffle for a beautiful walnut rocking chair. When you get hungry, you can enjoy Terry Smith’s famous barbecue.

Then head back over to Thespian Hall on Saturday night for another concert, this one featuring the Possum Holler Fiddlers, Bare Bones, Sparky and Rhonda Rucker, and the Mark Dvorak Trio.

A big thanks to Cathy Barton and Dave Para and the Friends of Historic Boonville for bringing us this world-class folk festival each year.

photo of square dancers

At the 2010 Big Muddy Festival, Mid-Missouri Traditional Dancers opened the Friday evening concert with a square dance on stage at Turner Hall.

To read one person’s impressions of last year’s Big Muddy Festival, check out Marcie McGuire’s blog.

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