Reminder: Bluegrass championship and music festival set for Saturday

The Down From the Hills Music Festival, including the Mississippi State Bluegrass Championship, will be held at the Union County Fairgrounds Saturday, May 17, starting at 10 a.m.

The state-sanctioned event draws competitors and spectators from a several-state area each year and includes awarding of championship titles for youths and adults in guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle and dobro categories.

New this year, the event will open with dobro and banjo workshops led by national champions Johnny Bellar and Weston Stewart, respectively.

Competition will begin after that and usually lasts until mid-afternoon.

At noon, the award-winning bluegrass group “Breaking Grass” will perform followed by “The Cakewalkers” from Oxford.

Admission is $5, which goes back into the cost of the festival and awarding the trophies and cash prizes. Concessions will be on sale by Hopewell Presbyterian Church, the New Albany Rotary Club and Pace’s Peanuts. A blacksmithing demonstration will be presented and folk art will be on sale as well.

The event was begun by Union County Heritage Museum Director Jill Smith. It is sponsored by the museum and Union County Historical Society, community sponsors, City of New Albany and Mississippi Arts Commission.