A crowd estimated at over 5,500 people came from near and far this past weekend for the Lions Club 35th Annual Macon County Hillbilly Days at Key Park, here in Lafayette, under the direction of B .J. Blankenship and Monica Gann, to once again enjoy three fun-filled days and nights of music, games, good food, and seeing old friends and neighbors.

Despite the soaring temperatures and 100 plus heat index, little kids and adults, as well as grandmas and grandpas mingled among the many different booths, kid rides, food and ice cream stands. The shade from the tall oaks and maples on Mrs. Delia Key’s old home place, as well as a light breeze, provided some relief for the enthusiastic crowd.

The late Cayce Russell’s dream of bringing back the “old time ways” and the best of bluegrass and country music, was once again realized as some of the best musicians and dancers in the area, participated in the various contests.

Winners in the entertainment section were:

Flat Top Guitar

1st Rob Pearcy

2nd Jeffery Woodard

3rd Ethan Reynolds

Debro 

1st Rob Piercy

2nd Dwayne Turner

3rd Frances DiGiovanni

Banjo

1st Samuel Vance

2nd Ethan Blair

3rd Hayden Reynolds

Beginning Fiddle (under 16)

1st Cara DiGiovanni

2nd Steven Alonso

3rd Grant Smith

Jr. Fiddle (16-50)

1st Maddie Denton

2nd Greer Kimball

3rd Grant Smith

Sr. Fiddle

1st Marcia Denton

2nd Lorraine Porter

3rd Rob Pearcy

Mandolin

1st Maddie Denton

2nd Kaman Reynolds

3rd Jeffrey Woodard

Buck Dance (under 15)

1st Daniel Phillip

2nd Matthew Randolph

3rd Tanner Dunn

Buck Dance (over 15)

1st Tori West

2nd Tommy Scruggs

3rd Jamie Franklin

Male Vocalist

1st Miles Gibson

2nd Samuel Vance

3rd Dwayne Turner

Female Vocalist

1st Terri Weaver

2nd Jessie Liz

3rd Emily Barnett

Bluegrass Band

1st Clearview

2nd The Reynolds Family

3rd Almost Bluegrass

Best Overall Pie

1st Brooklyn Driver

Best Fried Apple Pie

1st Brooklyn Driver

2nd Tammy Driver

3rd Lillie Pruitt

Variety Pie

1st Betty Burgett

2nd Tammy Driver

3rd Betty Burgett

Mr. and Miss Hillbilly were Billy Roark and Sherry Hudgens; the oldest person attending was Hobert Hoskins, age 86; the youngest attending was Landon Bussey, one month old; the farthest traveled was Fred & Doreen Spencer, from England, who journeyed 3,500 miles; the longest married couple was Billy & Joanna Roark; Mr. Hillbilly costume contest winner was Hobert Hauskins and Miss Hillbilly costume contest winner was Suzi Cherry. The 1st Annual Red Scruggs Memorial Fiddle Challenge winner was Maddie Denton.

WEEN Radio broadcast live and the Macon County Chronicle covered the three day event, which was once again a huge success with everybody smiling, patting their feet to the music, and having the time of their lives. Thirty-five years after the first Hillbilly Day was held on May 22nd, 1975, folks in Macon County are still enjoying Cayce Russell’s dream and we certainly owe this wonderful gentleman a large debt of gratitude.