Thursday, July 7, 2011
About 1,200 attend picnic
By SUE WATSON
The sixth annual North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic was a blast again this year according to Facebook accounts.
There was lots of energy put into hula hoop dances, doing the boogie and just plain shaking a leg.
Heavy rain Friday, June 24, probably slowed up attendance Friday night and checking in was muddy at Foxfire Ranch on Old Oxford Road south of Waterford. A heavy two-hour rain blew tents around a bit but the rain moved on by 4 p.m., in time for Shannon McNally to take the stage.
This is the first year the picnic has been held at Foxfire. Some attendees said they liked the Foxfire Ranch venue – the rolling hills and the layout of the stage below the hill so people could sit in their lawn chairs, listen and see easily.
“I like this ranch; it’s a little more intimate,” said Mike McGannon, who said he didn’t mind walking a ways to get to the stage.
This is his second year to bring his family.
Bob and Judy Jacoby are picnic regulars, having attended all six picnics. They are from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“We love it here and we want to retire here,” Judy Jacoby said.
Leo Zulueta and wife Dianne from Ann Arbor, Michigan, made their first Mecca. Asked how they knew about the festival, Dianne said, “We’ve followed the music for a long, long time. We came all the way from Michigan for this.”
Leo attended one of the guitar players’ workshops and said he loved it.
There were local regulars, too, like Jerry Henderson from Chulahoma, and Lisa and Tim Liddy from Holly Springs.
Early estimates put attendance at about 1,200, according to Sara Davis, picnic organizer. The picnic gets lots of repeat visitors.
“We seem to draw a loyal crowd from all over the world,” she said. “Lot’s of people have been here every year.”
She said workshops are a favorite with lots of visitors.
“The workshops were great. All attendees were happy, especially to get to play on stage with the instructors,” Davis said. “Instructors really enjoy themselves in this one-on-one atmosphere with attendees.”
Davis cleared up an error in reporting on Blues Trail Markers.
“The North Mississippi Hill Country Picnic, not Kenny and I, purchased the marker,” she said.
That marker is located on the north side of the square in downtown Holly Springs near North Center Street.
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